A Manipur cop returned her Chief Minister's Gallantry Medal she received for a 2018 drug case on Friday, December 18 after the court ordered the release of the accused BJP Autonomous District Council (ADC) Chairman and six others.
In her letter to Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Thounaojam Brinda stated the court's observation on the drugs probe as the reason. The Special Court (ND & PSA) Manipur had observed that the investigation was 'unsatisfactory' and acquitted drug lord Lhukhosei Zou and the others of all the charges levelled against them, reported The Wire.
Brinda, while returning her medal, wrote that she felt morally inclined to have not conducted her duty 'as per the wishes' of the criminal delivery system, given the Court's observation in the case.
"I do not consider myself deserving of the honour bestowed upon me by your good self. I, therefore, return the same to the state Home Department so that it may be given to a more deserving and loyal police officer," the letter read.
A major operation was launched by the State Police, with Brinda leading the team in seizing the drugs worth ₹27 crores and arresting the accused on June 20, 2018.
A charge sheet was filed against Lhukhosei in the case on December 15, 2018. But four days later, Lhukhosei was granted bail by the ND&PSA Court on health grounds. He later went absconding exactly when he was to appear before the court on January 9, 2019. However, In February 2019, he surrendered himself and told the court that he was abducted by armed group KNA Eastern Zalengam. He was again granted bail in May.
After Lhukhosei got bail in May, Brinda took to social media, questioning the judge for granting bail to the accused multiple times.
"He is presumed to be guilty consequent to the recovery of contraband from him, and it is for the accused to establish his innocence unlike (in) the normal rule of criminal jurisprudence that an accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty. Just because you preside a court does not permit you to sacrilege it," Brinda wrote. She even used an abusive slur. Reportedly he has also shown her "middle finger" to the special judge on May 21 during the bail hearing of the accused.
Taking cognizance of her post, the court asked if she had posted the offensive post on Facebook against the judiciary and using offensive language against the special judge. Taking her action as a possible contempt of court, the court summoned her.
She later admitted to the Facebook post but denied all the other allegations, upon which the court asked to file an affidavit in her defence.
Accusations On CM Biren Singh
The officer later submitted a 16-page affidavit, in which she had alleged the CM of putting 'pressure' on her to shield the Lhukhosei from custody.
She categorically mentioned in her report, that the time she was about to enter Lhukhosei's official residence, she had received a call from the CM's office and detailed him about conducting the raid at the ADC member's house and got a green card.
However, the following morning, an official from the CMO came to her residence and told her that the CM's wife Olice was furious about Lhukhosei's arrest, as he was her right hand.
Lhukhosei was elected as a member of the autonomous district council of Chandel on Congress ticket in 2017, but he later joined the BJP. He was later expelled from the party over his involvement in the drugs case and was arrested. But the Court later ordered his immediate release from the Sajiwa Central Jail. The two other accused in the case were convicted.
According to The Wire, Brinda had alleged that the CM had ordered to exchange Lhukhosei with his wife or son, to which she said that drugs were seized from him and not his wife. She was approached multiple times for the ADC member's release.
A chargesheet was filed in the case, and the copy of it was submitted to the Special Court. The Director-General of Police then asked her to remove the chargesheet from court over the CM's order, but she refused to do so.
Later, the special Court had granted Lhukhosei interim bail on health grounds after which she took to Facebook.