TODAY -

Second edition of the War on Drugs : Crack the syndicate
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: January 16, 2023 -



War on Drugs 2.0. Meaning the campaign against drugs continues and the addition of the term 2.0 denotes the continuation of the campaign in the second term of the BJP in Government.

The Government seems intent on living up to its campaign, if one goes by the large swathes of poppy plantations being razed to the ground on a regular basis.

Top this off with the findings of the aerial survey wherein extensive poppy plantations have been sighted and this is more than clear that the Government has a fight at hand.

And by this it should be understood that the Government would need to go one up from destroying poppy plantations on the hill ranges.

At least 4/5 village chiefs have been hauled up and some policemen have also been penalised for 'letting' go of some village chiefs.

This is all in line with what The Sangai Express has been advocating all along, and that is to haul up the elements responsible for poppy plantations and look beyond those who just cultivated the fields and cleared the surroundings to cultivate poppy plants.

It has been some days since the village chiefs were hauled up and the natural question that follows is, what has been unearthed?

Who were the elements with whom the village chiefs were in touch with?

What was their commission for directing the tillers of the soil to go in for poppy plantations?

Who financed the plantation and who were supposed the pick up the harvested products from the poppy plants?

The village chiefs are the lead and it is from them that one expects the Government to inch closer to those elements who were or are actually responsible behind the mass scale cultivation of the poppy plants.

From poppy plantations to actually opening drug producing units and surely Manipur has graduated from the stage of just being a transit route for drugs and other psychotropic substances.

It is this which the Government should be worried about.

The people are worried, that is the people who are far removed from the 'business' of drug smuggling and poppy cultivation.

The Government will need to do more than destroy poppy plantations - a point which has been repeatedly stressed in this column.

It is not yet clear how closely the Government machinery in Manipur are working with their counter parts in either Assam, Nagaland and other parts of the country.

The existence of a network is palpable whenever one receives information of drugs and psychotropic substances coming from Manipur and being seized in other parts of the country make it to the news.

As repeatedly raised in this column, how did the drugs laden vehicles or trucks manage to by pass the large number of security check posts set up along the National Highways?

How did they manage it? This question itself is indicative of a network, a network that could run deeper than what one imagines.

It is this network that needs to be cracked.

The Government should take a step or two above the exercise of destroying poppy plantations and now with some village chiefs having been netted one expects the Government to move closer to cracking the nexus.

No doubt it will be a long haul, and this is precisely the reason why nothing should be left to chance.

There is every indication that those involved in the business of minting money out of the drug trade are powerful individuals, whose writ and influence run wide.

It is this very network the Government should be working to crack and for this it would need to move beyond the exercise of destroying poppy plantations and work out who are the persons actually financing the whole operations.

The arrested village chiefs are perhaps the right point from where the Government may give more teeth to the War on Drugs.



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