Meira Paibis destroy mounts of tobacco products

‘Truck bringing tobacco products was escorted by IRB personnel’

Seized tobacco items burned down with the assistance of CADA volunteers and Heingang Police on July 29, 2020 (PHOTO: IFP).

The Luwangshangbam Apunb Meira Paibi on Tuesday destroyed a huge amount of tobacco products seized from a freight "escorted by IRB personnel" in Imphal.

According to sources, at about 5.30 am, some morning joggers noticed one Tata Truck reportedly escorted by some IRB personnel, unloading tobacco items at the house of one Laishram Ongbi Purnima Devi, 62, wife of late L Birchandra at Luwangshangbam Mamang Leikai.

When the womenfolk of the area conducted a drive at the said house, huge amounts of tobacco products including Talab, Zarda, Kheini and others were found.

Speaking to the media, secretary general of the Luwangshangbam Apunb Meira Paibi, M Leima Devi said they have information linking the huge consignment of tobacco with an MLA. She alleged that some high ranking officials, including MLAs, are engaging in such businesses, taking advantage of their position and resources.

The recovered items were loaded on three vehicles, including two tractors and one Tata DI and transported to a nearby isolated place, and burned down with the assistance of CADA volunteers and Heingang police.

In a video clip released in connection with the incident, some people were seen stealing the tobacco products. The video, which has gone viral, shows Leima briefing the media as some locals were seen stealing the seized tobacco items before they were burned.

In another video, one person who had stolen a tobacco item was caught and made to throw the product into the fire. Others who were seen allegedly stealing tobacco items in the video are still being traced, police sources said..

First Published:July 29, 2020, 8:02 a.m.

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