Alliance Francaise to have new head after drugs row

March 13th, 2009 - 4:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, March 13 (IANS) Chandigarh’s Alliance Francaise is to get a new director after the previous head was arrested for possession of drugs.
French national Isabelle Normand, who held the post, was deported from India after she was caught in Himachal Pradesh with 250 gm of charas (cannabis) Feb 22 near Kullu town, police said.

“We will have a new director shortly. Three-four names are being considered. I don’t want to comment on what happened to (Normand),” French embassy spokesman told IANS from New Delhi Friday.

Kullu Superintendent of Police K.K. Indoria told IANS that Normand was arrested with the contraband near Kullu, 272 km from here, while travelling in a bus on the Chandigarh-Manali highway.

She initially hid her identity but later admitted that she worked at Alliance Francaise.

Normand was given bail because the quantity of the drug seized was in the non-commercial quantity (less than one kg).

The contraband was sent for examination and she remained in police custody for two days.

“The embassy officials reached Kullu, got her released on bail and sent her back to France,” Indoria said.

Normand joined Alliance Francaise here in 2007. She lived in Sector 37 with her husband.

Kullu Valley is known for illegal cultivation of opium and high-quality charas. The ‘Malana cream’ variety of charas from the valley is considered one of the best in the international drug market.

Staff at the Alliance Francaise here Friday feigned ignorance about her whereabouts.

“We are ourselves shocked and do not know where she is. Last month, she had gone on a holiday but did not join the institute after that. We aren’t aware if she has been deported or not,” said one faculty member.

Alliance Francaise is a leading institute for learning French.

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