TODAY -

Frauds feasting on pandemic situation
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: August 30, 2021 -



Latest reports on complaints lodged at Wangoi police station in connection with irregularities in selection process for the Ishan Uday Scholarship-2020-21, a Kakching district police commando arrested by his Moreh sub-divisional colleagues on the charge of smuggling drugs worth Rs 2.5 crore and the health department officials alerted to prevent possible sale of fake Covishield vaccine corroborate the fact that in-spite of being a tiny landlocked state, Manipur has many elements who are always on the look out to dupe'others and gain wealth.

While drug smuggling and periodical scandals in government institutions have been rather common phenomena in the state for the last many years, the State Health Society pressing the alarm bell on the basis of inputs that some miscreants are trying to refill empty vials of the Covishield vaccine with unknown substance and marketing the same is not only worrisome but also lays bare the fact that the standard mechanism for collection and disposal of the used vials has not been complied with by those entrusted to oversee the vaccination programme.

Even more disheartening is that similar to the kingpins managing to evade arrest in many of the drug seizure cases, the health department authorities seem to be lacking the will to round up.the real culprits who tried to deceive the public through sale of the fake Covishield vaccine.

It is hard to comprehend how the frauds could not be identified and apprehended for such a grave crime that too amid the pandemic shattering the lives of many and remaining to pose a serious threat to all.

As the health department is already aware of the intention of the criminal-minded individuals, the need of the hour is to do the needful to ensure that such unscrupulous elements repent for trying to deepen the health crisis.

It needs no reminding that merely advising the medical officers and personnel to keep count of the used vials wouldn't succeed in nailing the culprits, who are certain to plan more deceptive means if they are not made to face the consequences.

Similarly, there should be no leniency against those found involved in abetting submission of forged documents for the Ishan Uday Scholarship as it is obvious that proper dispersal of the financial assistance to the genuinely deserving beneficiaries would provide huge relief to both parents and students who have been enduring serious financial hardships as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While it is fortunate that the government accorded importance to complaints from some concerned citizens regarding possible embezzlement of funds of the noble scheme, it would only be appropriate in case the investigation process is expedited to roundup and stringently deal with the wrongdoers.

All the three latest cases merit special attention of the government authorities instead of the latter adopting the same old policy of initiating probe but somehow lacking the commitment to speed up the process of netting and penalising the masterminds or kingpins of any act of crime.

Under no circumstance should the government allow elements inimical to the society perceive that laws of the land would rescue them from serving prison term.



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