3.5 Collective urges CM Biren for reinvestigation into drug haul case

The Collective said that the conviction of Tung Khan Mung Zou, 19 and Thangminlung Zou, 30, is seen by the public as mere scapegoating to let go the big fish so that he can continue with his political career and illicit trade.


(Read IFP)

The 3.5 Collective has expressed concern over the acquittal of former chairman Autonomous District Council (ADC) Chandel Lhukhosei Zou and urged the chief minister to appeal the judgement order of the Special Court (ND and PS) on the trial case and to pray for the reinvestigation and re-trial of the case in the High Court within the next two weeks before the limitations run out.

The request was made in the lines of the announcement made by the chief minister in a public meeting on December 18 at Awang Potsangbam, Imphal East, a release stated.         

It stated that Lhukhosei Zou was arrested with Rs 27 crore worth of assorted narcotic drugs in the intervening night of June 19 and 20, 2018 from his official quarter, VIP Quarter No 1, Lamphel by the Special Court of Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Manipur.

The conviction of Tung Khan Mung Zou, 19 and Thangminlung Zou, 30, is seen by the public as mere scapegoating to let go the big fish so that he can continue with his political career and illicit trade, the release stated.

The high-profile investigation and trial of this case are shrouded in controversies, including the attempt to remove charge sheet by senior lawyer and a police official, jumping of bail by Lhukhosei Zou, his alleged kidnapping and abduction by Myanmar based armed outfits, losing of the sample from NAB Malkhana, frequent transfer of supervising officer, investigating officers, public prosecutors, judges etc, it stated.

The 3.5 Collective is all the more concerned with the turn of events unfolding in Manipur following the judgement, it stated. Starting with the return of gallantry award by the supervising officer who conducted the operation, the ongoing widespread protest by the public against the acquittal on one hand and chest-beating supporters of Lhukhosei Zou, it further stated. There is every possibility of the public mood escalating further if the issue is left attended, it added.  

The 3.5 Collective is a civil society coalition in Manipur striving for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, Target 5, which is to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug and harmful use of alcohol, it stated.

First Published:Dec. 22, 2020, 8:41 p.m.

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