Former ADC chairman acquitted in drug seizure case

Correspodent IMPHAL, Dec 17 | Publish Date: 12/17/2020 11:56:07 AM IST

 Opposition CongRESS, CSO SAY something fishy in judgment

In its verdict on a high profile drug seizure case, special court (ND&PS) Manipur acquitted former chairman of Autonomous District Council (ADC) Chandel district Lhukhosei Zou who was also a member of the ruling BJP.
Zou, the then chairman of the ADC, Chandel was arrested by a team of the Narcotics and Affairs of Border on June 20, 2018 from his official quarters at Lamphel with 4.6 kilograms of heroin powder and 2,80,200 tablets of “World is Yours” estimated to be worth around Rs 28 crore in the international market.
He was among the four held in the case and was acquitted by a verdict of the judge W Tonen Meitei of the special court pronounced today.
The court convicted two persons; Thangminlun Zou and Tung Khan Mung Zou - under the NDPS Act, 1985 for which the sentence hearing is slated for December 21.
The court acquitted Zou and the four others after the prosecution failed to prove the charges levelled against them and ordered them to release them from judicial custody.
Opposition Congress and Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) have criticised the judgment of the special court (ND&PS) Manipur.
The judgment of the court has reduced the government’s “war on drugs” to meaningless and showed that narco-terrorism was only on table, alleged MPCC spokesperson MLA K Meghachandra.
Talking to reporters at Imphal Congress Bhavan today, the spokesperson said that it was a well known fact that many high ranking officials of the state police and high profile political personalities from the ruling BJP were involved in the case which is considered to be a high profile case.
Congress was ready to join hands with CSOs in launching a series of movements to award befitting punishment to the alleged “drug lord,” Meghachandra said adding that, “He is worth a life imprisonment sentence.” 
Strongly reacting to the judgment of the court, CADA suggested that the government to appeal to a higher court if the incumbent government was sincere enough to eliminate the drug menace.
The CSO campaigning against drugs and alcohol abuse in the state, in a statement, asserted that that people will now raise many questions on the government.
They will question how the main accused who was caught red-handed with the huge quantity of drugs that too from his quarters allotted by the government got a free hand from the case.
The statement recalled the series of rows during the investigation and trial of the case, including the transfer of a police officer who took the main role in the seizure and investigation of the case.
CADA was referring to the transferred of MPS officer Th Brinda who served as additional SP of Narcotic and Affairs of Border (NAB) who had given a detail account of pressure mounted on her from high profile personalities of the ruling BJP while investigating into the case in her affidavit to the High Court of Manipur.
The former additional SP of NAB, who took the main role in the investigation of the case, was transferred without any appropriate reason, the CADA alleged. 
The CADA also reminded the controversy surrounding the government’s alleged attempt to close the case using its machineries by interfering in the judiciary. 

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