"The seizure of illicit drugs worth about Rs 24-25 crores on Sunday last indicates that the illegal trade has been going on for a long time. We are considering to hand over this case to a central agency dealing with drug control to find out those involved in it so that the traffickers, big or small, can be punished," Manipur Home Minister Gaikhangam said here yesterday.
Gaikhangam said the State Cabinet would soon take a decision on this issue.
Defence PRO Colonel Ajay Choudhury and five others were arrested on Sunday for allegedly transporting illicit drugs estimated at over Rs 24 crore for smuggling to Myanmar, police said.
Gaikhangam said the state government has also asked the central industrial security force (CISF) personnel who are on duty at Imphal airport to be very vigilant since the seizure of illicit drugs worth about Rs 1.50 crores at the airport about two weeks back and a suspect who was standing near the packets was picked up for questioning.
He said the CBI would be asked to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, cases of drug seizures have united political parties and various social organisations to put pressure on the state government to find out the kingpins of this illegal trade.
Secretary of the CPI Manipur unit and senior leader, M Nara, said the case has added fuel to the suspicion of the general public that there was the hands of higher officials in drug trafficking.
"There is a social crisis in the state of Manipur. It is time for a social democratic revolution in the state. Drug peddling is a factor which will crumble the society," he said. President of a major social organisation, the Apunba Manpiur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL), United Mothers' Association to Protect Manipur said the government should immediately bring out to the notice of the general public the minister(s) or officers concerned involved in the illegal drug trade.
President of the Manipur People's Party (MPP) Sobha Kiran said Manipur has urged the government to do something to book those kingpins involved in the illegal trade.
S Ramani, the secretary of major social organisation Nupi Samaj (Women's society), said VIPs were involved in drug trafficking.
At least 14 major social organisations including AMKIL had submitted a memorandum to Governor Gurbachan Jagat recently urging the latter to initiate steps to book all the culprits involved in the drug trade.
All major political parties including Congress during a joint meeting have decided to take up the 'drug racket issue' at the national level.
Imphal: The Manipur government is considering handing over the recent case of illicit drug seizure, in which a Colonel-rank Defence PRO and five others were arrested, to a central agency dealing with drug control, a senior minister has said.
First Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013, 13:41