Strongly reacting to the FIR lodged against MPCC president and sitting MLA K Meghachandra, the opposition Congress on Saturday took on the BJP government and accused the incumbent government of “trampling free speech”.
The opposition also alleged that the ongoing war on drugs campaign did not include war against drug lords while stating that the FIR was lodged for demanding a CBI inquiry into the drug haul cases including recent multi-crore rupees drug seizure involving personnel of the state police department.
“Here in Manipur, there is no democracy. There is a dictatorial rule in the state,” MPCC spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said, while strongly reacting to the FIR case against the MPCC chief.
Kakching police station of Kakching district had earlier registered a FIR against the MPCC president and MLA K Meghachandra and Th Kennedy, a Congress candidate in the last Assembly elections from Kakching AC.
The sitting MLA and his companion were accused of “obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, criminal trespass with common intention – punishable under section 186/447/34 IPC”.
The case was related with the visit of the MLA to the office of the Kakching SP on the day the huge consignment of drugs was seized on January 16.
The FIR lodged in the backdrop of Congress’s demand for handing over drug related cases to the CBI or an independent Central investigative agency was to suppress the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom of movement, the MPCC spokesperson told the reporters at a press conference held in Imphal’s Congress Bhavan today evening.
Under the BJP regime, freedom of speech and expression are being suppressed. Anyone who voiced out against the incumbent government is being pulled up, he alleged.
He said that the FIR against the MPCC president itself shows that the freedom of speech and expression is being suppressed in the state under the BJP rule
It was not the first time. There were instances of pulling up senior editors, university and college professors, journalists, blockers and many young people for talking against the policy and programme of the government. Some of them were even slapped with NSA (National Security Act), he added.
Democracy in the state was in distress under the BJP regime. Even if the government continues to pull up, the Congress will always stand for democracy and fight for safeguarding the right to free speech and expression, he said.
“We will unitedly fight for democracy and save our people and our state from being converted into a regime of dictatorship,” the MPCC spokesperson said.
Alleging that the MPCC president was victimized for the party’s demand for handing over the drug haul cases in the state to the CBI, he said that the ongoing war on drugs campaign of the BJP government excluded war against drug lords.
Under the war on drugs campaign of the present government, many drug peddlers have been arrested and recovered drugs worth crores of rupees. However, so far, there was no instance of arrest of a drug lord or owner of the seized drugs.
“The war on drugs is going on but in the absence of war against drug lords. We would like to know who the real owners of the seized drugs are”, he said.
The spokesperson said that contraband drugs were seized almost every day in the state under the war on drugs.
“Unfortunately there is no war on drug lords and why there is no war on drug lords, we will like to know,” he asked.
Everybody would like to know the real owner(s) of the recent case of seizure of a huge consignment of drugs transported by five personnel of the state police. The Congress also would like to know the real owner(s).
The huge drug consignment was seized by state police from its own personnel and the police department itself was investigating the case.
“Here, the Congress would like to question how a fair investigation can be done by the police against its personnel. The Congress wants a fair investigation. That is why the party is demanding handing over the case to the CBI,” he said.
It was after the Congress demanded handing over the case to CBI, the FIR against the MPCC president and sitting MLA K Meghachandra was lodged, he alleged.