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CCpur Rally Against Chained Humans & Killings

Monday, August 8, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
~Joseph Joute, Freelance Journalist, Churachandpur.

CCpur, August 8: Amidst uncomfortable rain and weather, hundreds of drug users, ex-users, social workers and supporters take out to the street in a protest Mass Silent Rally against the inhuman treatment and killing of drug users in Rehab Centers in Churachandpur today.

The rally was organized by Humanitarian Organization for Progressive and Empowerment (HOPE) in collaboration with the Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Imphal, both community-based organizations in the state working for the cause of drug users’ community, demanding justice.

A Memorandum was submitted to the district administration represented by Mr S. Khaikhopau Ngaihte, SDC/HQ since the Dy Commissioner Ms Jacintha Lazarus, IAS was out of station. Mr Ngaihte said that, he will put up the matter to the DC and follow up the case as such.

The Memorandum stated that Mr. T. Goubiakthaum s/o (L) T. Kapa of Gouchinkhup Veng, New Lamka was treated at the Bethsaida Drug De-Addiction Center, Saikham Road, New Lamka. He suffered serious injury on July 24 at around 1pm after a scuffle broke out between clients/patients who want to run out and who try to block them. However, eye witness account said that he was beaten black and blue.

Mr. Goubiakthuam was rushed to the Churachandpur district hospital but was referred to RIMS, Imphal because of the seriousness of his head injury. Since, RIMS was closed on Sundays he was rushed to Shija Hospital on July 25 where he was declared death by doctors.

The family filed an FIR case No.43/7/2011/CCP/PS under Section 302/34 IPC, but till date no action has been taken upon the matter, therefore HOPE and CoNE have been pursuing the matter and today’s rally was one of its outcome to demand for justice.

The Memorandum futrhter stated that there are 11 Drug Rehabilitation Centers in Churachandpur and only 4 of them are legally funded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment; the other 7 centers are privately-run centers.
The MSJE lay down guidelines and Minimum Standard of Services which is approved by the government, but it is doubtful these private centers follow the guidelines, said the hand out. As per the guidelines, De-addiction centers should have 15-30 beds and in special case up to 50, but at the time of visits, this Bethsaida centers have more than 100 drug users for treatment with inadequate staff and required infrastructures to manage such a huge population of drug users.
It is a clear violation of human rights and the centers have many loop holes with no code of ethics, treatment model. No Clients’ Rights and name of staff were display for public information and the stuffing is insufficient, added the handout.
One ex-inmate of this centre said that he was chained 15 days without proper detoxification or medical attention which should be given during detoxification.

One identified drug user, age 30 (name withheld) who joined the rally today, said that he was admitted in January to the Mahanaim De-addiction Centre by his family and he ran away from the center. After 6 months, on July 2011, the center team come to his house and make his family fined Rs. 10, 000/- because it was the “Rules” of the center!
He wore a placard reading “Stop killings in Rehab Center” with chain around his neck, and the “Receipt” of his ransom money! Many placard reads, “Stop treating us differently, we are all equal”, “Stop Rights Violation in Centers”, “We are all God’s children,” etc.

The convener of the rally said that, if the district administration is not taking any initiative/action, the organization will go further and file a case to the State Human Rights Commission and the National Commission if needed.
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