School dropout-drug abuse link worries CM

DIPR IMPHAL, 9th Apr: Maintaining that school dropout is one of the major reasons for high prevalence of drug and substance abuse, chief minister N Biren has assured that the government will re-admit school dropouts under its scheme to address such issues.
The CM was speaking during inauguration of a Special Court ND & PS (Fast Track Court), Manipur at Cheirap Court complex in Imphal West on Monday. The court has been especially established to deal with drug menace and to facilitate speedy trial of offences relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, Biren acknowledged that people have been demanding the government to establish separate Fast Track Courts for crime against women and narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (ND&PS) related cases to ensure speedy justice.
He expressed happiness over fulfilling the second wish of the people by dedicating the Special Court for ND & PS to the public after the Fast Track Court for crime against women was inaugurated on June 27 last year. He also thanked co-operation from the judiciary and legal fraternity of the state in establishing the special court.
Observing that school drop-out is the basic factor for high prevalence of drug/substance abuse and indulgence in different crimes by teenagers and young adults, the CM informed the gathering that the state government is planning to help re-admit around 40,000 school drop-outs under a special scheme at the earliest.
Large areas of poppy plantation had been destroyed under the government’s ‘War Against Drugs’ campaign in the past few months, he said, while adding that Agar plantation would be introduced as an alternative livelihood to the villagers who used to grow poppy plants earlier. Around 3 lakh Agar saplings are being prepared at Jiribam, he added.
An MoU regarding setting up of an Agar factory in the state had already been signed with a foreign firm during North East Development Summit (NEDS) held last year, he said.
Mentioning about the historical significance of Cheirap Court Complex, Biren conveyed the government’s willingness to properly develop the complex under an architectural blueprint.
On the connectivity front AirAsia, Jet Airways and Air India have started direct flights between Imphal and Delhi.
Charter flight service under regional connectivity scheme UDAN and helicopter service are also in the offing, he informed.
Acting chief justice of the High Court of Manipur N Kotiswar, law and legislative affairs minister L Jayantakumar, advocate general N Kumarjit and justice Kh Nobin were also present at the event.
Acting chief justice N Kotiswar lauded the state government for its cooperation towards improving legal affairs of the state. He also mentioned about the infrastructure and manpower needs of the state judiciary system apart from dwelling upon the historical relevance of Cheirap Court complex.
He said that separate Fast Track Courts for ND & PS and crime against women have become a reality due to the keen interest and dedicated effort of Chief Minister N Biren.
In his address, Jayantakumar said that drug menace is a serious problem in Manipur as the state lies along the international border and close to the notorious Golden Triangle.
Many innocent lives have fallen victims to drug abuse and trafficking in the state and it is the responsibility of the government to save its citizens from this evil, he added.
Urging the legal fraternity to deliver justice to the public through this Special Court in an efficient manner, the minister also appealed to the public to utilise the service of the new court properly.
Judges, judicial officers, advocates and other members of the legal fraternity were also present during the function.

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