Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, March 07 2013:
Along with continuing the ongoing campaign against drug smuggling with a mass sit-in-protest at the historic Khwairamband kei-thel today, women protestors demanded that the ongoing session of Manipur Legislative assembly adopt an effective legislation to check drug smuggling.
The sit-in demonstration staged from around 10 am till 4 pm was participated by members/representatives of different anti-drug, women and civil society organisations such as Khwairamband Keithel Apunba Imasing, Amkil, amada, UPF, TDUWDO, KNKSS, Macha leima, ANUL, AMMWDO, Cada, Mapi Council, Upaco, Amsu Mapi Council, Upaco, Amsu and Nipco.
The protestors also raised demands for an effective mechanism to prevent smuggling of illegal drugs into the State through the aerial route, proclamation of identity of the drug smuggler(s), no leniency against individuals involved in drug smuggling activities, revival of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and revoke transfer of SIU Officer in-charge Ranjit.
Speaking to newspersons at the protest venue, some elderly women campaigners expressed grave concern that a highly sensitive and round the clock guarded facility like the Airport is being used by the smugglers to ferry in illegal drugs.
Referring to recent recovery of huge consignment of illegal drugs from the airport premises by an SIU team, they insisted that without involvement of Airport officials/personnel it would be impossible for the drug loads to slip past security checking points in the airport.
Further opining that it would be impossible for ordinary citizens to invest large amount in the illegal drug trade, the protestors demanded that thorough and impartial investigation be initiated to identify wealthy and influential persons involved in the illegal trade.
Expressing serious concern that ceaseless inflow of psychotropic drugs pose serious threat to the future generation of Manipur, they also condemned the Government of Manipur, particularly the law enforcement agencies, for alleged failure to pull up the real drug smugglers.
Earlier, as the protestors started to converge at the site, a brief exchange of heated words ensued between some women vendors and a police team when the latter showed up to disperse the agitators.
To the police team's posers whether the protestors possess permission from authorities concerned, the protestors rebuked the police team by insisting that their demonstration would be held in a peaceful and democratic manner.
At no time there was need for permission from anybody when women vendors staged or wanted to hold protest at the market complex, they told the police, who nevertheless maintained vigil near the protest site.