Former Chief Minister Ibobi concerned over drug menace in Manipur

Former Chief Minister Ibobi

Imphal, January 08 2023: Former Chief Minister of Manipur and CLP leader Okram Ibobi Singh has expressed serious concern on the ever worsening drug menace despite regular reports of destruction of poppy plantations in hill areas. CLP leader Okram Ibobi further questioned if some actors have been planning to transform Manipur as a big drug manufacturing factory.

Interacting with media at Congress Bhavan , O Ibobi who served as the Chief Minister of Manipur for three consecutive terms said in contradiction to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that Manipur would soon be drug-free, the State is fast becoming a drug manufacturing centre.

He said, earlier, contraband drugs and weapons were smuggled into Manipur from Myanmar during the Congress Government, Ibobi said. He questioned on the existence of future generations if extensive poppy plantations are promoted and Manipur is transformed into a big factory of contraband drugs.

Asserting that all sections of the society need to join hands and work collectively in order to eradicate the drug menace, the CLP leader said that the Congress party would take full responsibility in fighting the drug menace even though it is in the opposition.

Taking serious note of how the military personnel saw and treated Manipuri women, the Congress Government started lifting AFSPA from some parts of the State in spite of strong National Security Studies, said a release issued by PRO of IGAR(S). The MoU has provided a platform to all stakeholders in Manipur objection from the Central Government, Ibobi said.

Citing the BJP-led Government’s repeated claim that the law and order situation has improved considerably and the State is almost free from insurgency, the former Chief Minister asked if the State Government has any misgiving about lifting AFSPA from all over Manipur.

Following installation of the NDA Government at the Centre, the Look East’Policy was re-named as Act East Policy and the special category status given to the North East States was scrapped.

Now all the NE states which have limited resources are facing extreme difficulties after the special category status was removed by the NDA Government, Ibobi said.

“We don’t know if the Act East Policy has brought any benefit to any section of people”, he continued.

Considering the limited resources of the State, the Central Government adopted both Manipur University and RIMS as Central institutions when the Congress party was in power, Ibobi pointed out.

He then asked if there was any problem for Union Home Minister Amit Shah to make an announcement when he visited the State recently to the effect that Churachandpur Medical College and Manipur Cultural University have been adopted by the Centre.

Further questioning the implication of the assertion that students from outside the State are now studying medical courses in Manipur as if there were no such facilities in the State before BJP came to power, Ibobi pointed out that RIMS was set up as a regional institute for all the North Eastern States, barring Assam, which do not have medical institutes of their own.

Many students from outside the State including south India have been studying medical courses in RIMS from the very beginning, Ibobi said.

Seats were reserved for students who came from outside the State at JNIMS too soon after the institute was given recognition by the Medical Council of India, he said.

NIT Lamphelpat was established during the Congress Government and many nonlocal students are studying at the institute, he added.

He went on to claim that due process for establishment of Churachandpur Medical College was initiated by the Congress Government.

It was the Congress Government which increased the number of beds at Churachandpur district hospital from 100 to 300 but some people have been speaking as if Churachandpur Medical College was the idea and work of BJP alone, Ibobi said.

The Polo Statue inaugurated by Amit Shah at Heingang Ching was sanctioned during the Congress Government in the name of tourism circuit, he added.