A partial view of Mon Town. (Photo Courtesy: National Informatics Centre, Mon District Centre/http://mon.nic.in)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | May 15
The Mon Town Students’ Union (MTSU) is currently in the midst of an initiative to curb a suspected influx of narcotics in the town. Code named ‘Operation Sweep Drive’, it started in the first week of May and as per the MTSU, some 30-40 persons have been apprehended so far.
According to the MTSU President T Chingmei Konyak, the drive was kick-started under the aegis of the Konyak Students’ Union (KSU) after the use of a mystery drug among the youths of the town became apparent over the past year.
As a result of the suspected drug use, petty thievery and incidents of youths harassing business owners for money reportedly increased, which he said began to draw the attention of the general populace.
“We started this with a constructive motive and we plan to continue it for atleast 3 months for a start,” Chingmei told The Morung Express, while adding that conducting a drive against suspected drug use was also discussed with the district administration.
He said that the drug in question is known colloquially as ‘sunflower’ to local users. Asked whether they have verified the chemical nature of the drug, he responded they were yet to. But he said that as per the look of the substance seized from the people apprehended, it was similar in texture to brown sugar.
He said that the confiscated substance collected so far amounted to a few grams and will be formally destroyed as the drive progresses.
Citing statements from the people apprehended, he said that it is sold packed in the regular khaini (tobacco) containers for around Rs. 3000 per container. “We have not apprehended any peddlers so far (as to determine origin),” he added.
A user was said to spend Rs. 1000-2000 on average for the daily dose.
Queried on the fate of the people apprehended, who were as young as 19 and some in their 40s, he said that they were let off but with stern warning. The warning included signing ‘bonds’ assuring to stop drug use with relatives and village council members as witnesses.
“We do not want to ruin their lives by sending them off to jail. Want to give them a chance to change. But if they are caught a second time, they will be handed over to the police,” Chingmei said.
He added that the MTSU intent to continue with the drive till drug use gets curbed.
A directive issued by KSU on May 11 also instructed all its “sub-ordinates and Federating Units” to be vigilant in their respective jurisdiction regarding the overflow of “narcotic drugs (sunflower)” in the district from outside.
The ‘directive order,’ appended by KSU President Bumang Phaiba and General Secretary Phoe Konyak, also asked the aforesaid entities to enforce complete ban on “using and selling of such drugs.”