The former deputy deputy commander of the Naga militant group NSCM (IM) R K Hopkinson was found guilty of drug trafficking. The historic judgement by the local court and the detailed investigation by Assam police have unfolded the hidden nexus between several insurgency groups in the North East and the drugs smuggling racket that is active in the region.
The Nagaon District and Sessions Judge during the final hearing on September 29 found Hopkinson guilty of illicit drug trafficking between many states of North East including Assam and sent him for rigorous imprisonment for 20 years.
The convicted drugs smuggler R K Hopingson was the deputy commander of NSCN (IM) when he was arrested in 2021 by Assam police with a huge amount of drugs in his possession.
It should be mentioned that Hopingson was arrested by Assam police on October 25, 2021 in Nagaon district. Nagaon police in an operation led by the then Additional Superintendent of Police Dhruba Bora, on October 25, 2021 arrested Hopingson with heroin weighing 2.98 kilograms worth Rs 5 crore hidden inside his personal vehicle in 20 soap boxes.
A special NDPS case 188/2021 was registered in Nagaon Sadar police station against Hopkinson. On October 23 when a Nagaon police team took him for a raid in Nanoi area of the district at night, Hopkinson tried to flee, attacking a police personal. Police team fired on him to stop his escape. Hopkinson sustained bullet injury during the firing. Later he was lodged in the Nagaon central jail by the court.
Assam police filed a charge sheet within 180 days detailing his involvement in regular drug trafficking to Assam via Nagaland and Manipur. The Nagaon District and Sessions Judge presided over the case against Hopingson and the local racket involved in drug smuggling. The court found Hopkinson guilty for his involvement in drug smuggling. Court in its verdict underlined the judiciary’s commitment to combat drug-related crimes and maintain law and order in the society. The Nagaon district and session court judge Raktim Duwora sentenced the accused to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.
Notably Nagaon district and session judge Nilkamal Das in 2022 sentenced another notorious drug smuggler Habil Ali for 20 years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 1 lakh. Hopkinson was a close alia of the racket run by Habil Ali.
Police sources said that Hopkingson smuggled drugs from Myanmar to India and distributed them amongst the local smugglers in Assam. Apart from drug trafficking, the deputy commander of NSCN (IM) is also accused of being involved several murder and extortion cases in Manipur. The court in its verdict mentioned its firm stance against drug trafficking and commitment towards tackling criminal activities that threaten the safety and well-being of the citizens.