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Manipur CM Biren Singh warns police officer of legal action

Manipur CM N. Biren Singh.

Manipur CM N. Biren Singh.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on Tuesday said he would take legal action against a woman police officer for accusing him of exerting pressure to release an arrested drug lord.

Thounaojam Brinda, a decorated Manipur Police officer and a former Additional Superintendent of Police of the Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) had on Monday filed an affidavit in connection with a criminal contempt case registered against her by the Manipur High Court.

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She gave a vivid account of how Mr. Biren had “pressurised” her to release Lhukhosei Zhou, the alleged drug baron, who was arrested along with seven others by her team in June 2018 for possessing 4.595kg of heroin, 280,200 narcotic pills and ₹5.81 lakh in cash, including demonetised currencies.

Ms. Brinda said pressure had been exerted on her to also withdraw the chargesheet against Mr. Zhou, then serving as the chairman of the Autonomous District Council (ADC) in Chandel district, and the others.

“These allegations are baseless and I will fight it out in court,” the Chief Minister told journalists.

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The contempt case against Ms. Brinda was registered a few days ago for her “offensive” remarks on Facebook allegedly undermining and criticising the judiciary after Mr. Zhou was granted bail by the court of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

She said in the affidavit that her remarks on Facebook were not aimed at obstructing or interfering with the course of justice or the due administration of law but a “fair criticism on the conduct and character of the judicial officer/individual” who was “acting as a judge but who did not have respect for the chair”.

After the arrest, Mr. Zhou had reportedly wanted to speak to the Chief Minister and the Director General of Police but Ms. Brinda allegedly did not allow him.

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The officer also said a BJP vice-president came to her residence to convey that the Chief Minister was furious with her for her refusal to release Mr. Zhou and ordered her to let him off.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 2:35:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/manipur-cm-biren-singh-warns-police-officer-of-legal-action/article32082402.ece

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