Areca nut smugglers file FIR against district magistrate
In a bizarre incident, areca nut smugglers in Mizoram have filed an FIR against Champhai district magistrate over torching of smuggled areca nuts.
The FIR, submitted to Champhai police station by one of the truck owners, said that Champhai DC Maria C T Zuali intercepted their trucks carrying areca nuts near Kelkang village in the district around 8 pm on December 19. The district magistrate reportedly intercepted four trucks.
“After unloading 150 bags of areca nuts from three of the trucks, Champhai DC torched them at the spot,” the FIR said.
The DC snatched the drivers’ mobile phones and their ignition keys, the FIR read.
“We demand appropriate action against the person who torched our goods without first verifying if they are smuggled. They also forcefully took away our drivers’ mobile phones and ignition keys,” the FIR stated.
While admitting that she intercepted those trucks, Champhai, DC denied torching the areca nuts.
“As a magistrate, it is my duty to stop illegal cross-border transportation of goods. I only did my duty,” Maria said.
She also expressed dismay at filing an FIR against a district magistrate.
Recently, Mizoram-based social activist Vanramchhuangi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the Centre’s immediate intervention to stop cross-border smuggling of dried areca nuts from several South East Asian countries through Champhai and Lawngtlai districts in the state.
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