Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor
Alliance for Drug Free Manipur (ADFM) which is a civil society organisation with a mission to build a drug free Manipur advocates that the need of the hour is the unflinching support to the campaign on war on drugs 2.0 in the state and convert it to a mass movement to root out drug menace from the state taking advantage of the pro-active approach of the government.
In a press release sent by convener Sachin Meitei, ADFM is now taking up campaign amongst the Youth of Manipur to strengthen their will power to fight the temptation to become a drug user.
Manipur sits on western corner of Burma’s infamous Golden Triangle, one of the two largest opium producing regions in the world. Ever since January 2002, when the six countries – Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and China- set up the ‘Joint Special Task Unit 2002’ to coordinate the fight against drug trafficking, Manipur has become a transit route of drug trafficking originating from the Golden Triangle.
More alarmingly the Burmese drug lords started encouraging tribal farmers of Manipur to plant poppy since that time. Even though the situation had become alarming, the successive governments failed to take decisive actions because of reasons best known to them. Ultimately a rebel drug lord-officialdom nexus was allowed to emerge in India’s Northeast because of long neglect.
It was only in 2018 that Manipur CM Shri N. Biren Singh has announced a campaign against drugs with “War on Drugs” on 3rd November 2018. This initiative provides power to the security forces and were able to seize large quantities of drugs and busted several brown sugar factories.
To get the support of the public especially the tribal population who has been induced to poppy plantation, leaders from over 30 communities came together to support “War on Drugs” on 25th February 2021. They pledged to support and contribute their best efforts to transform the then BJP led govt’s ‘War on Drugs’ into a people’s war and many poppy plantations in hill areas destroyed with the help of the public.
The effort was further strengthened with the setting up of fast track courts for speedy trials of accused drug smugglers on 9th April 2018. With the recent formation of new BJP govt. the campaign has been intensified, as “War on Drugs 2.0”. A day after the formation of the new government, an Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) was formed under an IGP rank police officer.
The drug peddlers were also warned to surrender or face dire consequences. With an aim to increase the poor conviction rate, which is a common all India phenomenon, a seminar-cum-interactive workshop for public prosecutors and police officers was held on April 25, 2002.
However, it is very unfortunate that some persons and individuals are making attempts to paint this massive effort of the government in poor light and thus trying to weaken the War on Drugs 2.0 campaign. Let us not forget that US has spent over a trillion dollars in fighting the war on drugs. Yet 50 years later, drug use in the US is climbing again.