The Manipur government may hand over the recent case of illicit drug seizure, in which a Colonel-rank Defence Public Relations Officer and five others were arrested, to a central agency dealing with drug control, a senior minister has said.
"The seizure of illicit drugs worth about Rs 24-25 crore on Sunday indicates that the illegal trade has been going on for a long time. We are considering handing over this case to a central agency dealing with drug control to find who is involved in it -- so that the traffickers, big or small, can be punished," said Manipur Home Minister Gaikhangam
Gaikhangam said the state cabinet would soon take a decision on this issue.
Defence PRO Colonel Ajay Choudhury and five others were arrested on Sunday for allegedly transporting illicit drugs estimated to be worth over Rs 24 crore for smuggling to Myanmar, said the police.
Gaikhangam said the state government has also asked the Central Industrial Security Force personnel, who are on duty at Imphal airport, to be very vigilant since the seizure of the illicit drugs.
The drugs, worth nearly Rs 1.50 crores, were seized at the airport nearly two weeks ago. A suspect who was standing near the packets was picked up for questioning.
The minister said the Central Bureau of Investigation would be asked to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, cases of drug seizures have united political parties and various social organisations, which are putting pressure on the state government to track down the kingpins of this illegal trade.
Communist Party of India’s Manipur unit Secretary and senior leader M Nara said the case has fuelled the suspicion of the general public that higher officials in the state were involved in drug trafficking.
"There is a social crisis in the state of Manipur. It is time for a social democratic revolution in the state. Drug peddling is a factor which will crumble the society," he said.
All major political parties in the state, including the Congress, have decided to take up the issue of drug trafficking at the national level.