Manipur Human Rights Commission acts on MLA’s allegation of political support for drug lords

The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has suo motu registered a case based on a statement by BJP MLA Lourembam Rameshwor allegedly blaming Ministers, MLAs and police officers for supporting drug lords.

Mr. Rameshwor, also the Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, had hinted at a nexus among politicians, police officers and drug dealers while speaking at a public function. At least four local dailies had published the speech in detail.

“In the said news reports, a serious allegation has been labelled against Ministers, MLAs and police officers for their nexus with drug lords and kingpins,” the April 6 order by MHRC acting chairperson Khaidem Mani said.

The order also translated a part of Mr. Rameshwor’s published statement: “Even as the government is waging a war on drug, MLAs, ministers and politicians have supported drug lords.”

The rights panel observed that the allegation by an MLA, who is also “holding a responsible post in the government”, against MLAs, ministers and even police officers is very serious in nature and, therefore, the matter deserves the intervention of this commission”.

Registering the case under Section 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993, the MHRC also noted that the drug menace “may have devastating human rights violation consequences” and undermine the right to health and privacy for the people of Manipur in particular.

The rights panel also asked Manipur’s Special Secretary (Home) and the Director-General of Police to submit an inquiry report on or before May 5.

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