Retired General Konsam Himalay Singh pointed out that the volume of annual turnover of the drug trade in Manipur is more than Rs 50,000 crores today and pointed out that the dismal failure to convict the accused under NDPS has served as an incentive rather than a deterrence to traffickers to carry out the lucrative trade
Two-day ‘Second Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on The Drug Menace in Manipur’ organised by the 3.5 Collective concluded at the Sangai Hall, Hotel Imphal Classic, North AOC, Imphal on Tuesday with the consensus on the need for better coordination and cooperation from all the stakeholders as the effort to achieve SDG 3.5 is possible only when the whole society is involved.
According to a press statement issued by 3.5 Collective convenor Babloo Loitongham, the inaugural function on Monday was graced by Mr. K Meghachandra, SP NAB (on behalf of DGP Manipur), Ema Thokchom Ramani, President, All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj and Professor Amar Yumnam, Former VC Manipur University & Chairperson, Organizing Committee as Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and President respectively.
On the first day, three panel discussions on the theme of “Strengthening Prevention”, “Arrest, Investigation & Prosecution of NDPS cases” and “Strengthening Treatment” was held involving officials of the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCD) of the Union Government as well as that of Education Department, the Social Welfare Department, the Directorate of Prosecution, Government of Manipur and the Manipur Aids Control Society (MACS).
Subject experts from the user community as well as other civil society and lawyers contributed to the vibrate debate. Former judge of the Special NDPS Court Ms. A. Nautuneshwari rued that the ambit of the investigation of the drug haul cases are too narrow as they would not cover the source and the destination of the drugs seized. She emphasised that it is only by tracing the real owner and holding them accountable, will we be able to root out the problem.
On the second day two more panel discussions continues on the theme of ‘Drug User: Victim or Criminal of Drug Menace’ and ‘Role of Society in Responding to Menace of Drugs’. Retired General Konsam Himalay Singh of the Indian Army, coming in as guest speaker, pointed out that the volume of annual turnover of the drug trade in Manipur is more than Rs 50,000 crores today and pointed out that the dismal failure to convict the accused under NDPS has served as an incentive rather than a deterrence to traffickers to carry out the lucrative trade.
Four thematic group works to develop Manipur state indicators for SDG number 3 target 5, to strengthen enforcement of NDPS ACT, defining “victims” of drug menace and developing roadmap eradicate poppy plantation came out with detailed findings and recommendations. After duly discussing each one of them the task of finalizing the recommendations was handed over to a Working Group.
The objective of the Consultation is to strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol in Manipur in sync with the UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 3 target no.5.