Imphal: “In a democratic country, protest is the right of every citizen to display their dissatisfaction. But time and again we have witnessed our respective government failed in their responsibility to address the citizen’s concerns by just simply suppressing any voice of dissent,” says Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD).
Out of several arbitrary arrests of many citizens and journalist for simply voicing out against the authority, one of the most recent one is the alleged arrest of Sintha Laishram (general secretary, Committee Against Drug and Alcohol), reason being organising a peaceful protest against the acquittal of Moreh Autonomous District Council chairman Lukhosei Zou, the student body said in a press release on Saturday.
Sintha is a resident of Champrathong, Wangjing in Thoubal district. Lukhosei Zou along with seven others was earlier apprehended with drug worth several cores of rupees from his official residence, later in a very suspicious process of jurisdiction his driver and a 19 year old boy were found guilty in that multi-crore scandal. After the acquittal of Lukhosei Zou, many right thinking civil society and students body denounces the judgement of the special court to have acquitted the main drug-lord, MSAD said.
Many CSO including CADA have been demanding for re-investigation and re-trial of this infamous multi-crore drug haul case. In regard to that the High court of Manipur has also directed the Government of Manipur to file a counter affidavit against a prayer seeking an appeal by 3.5 collective (a civil society coalition) against acquittal of Zou, it said.
As such, MSAD strongly condemns the alleged arrest of Sintha Laishram without any arrest memo for organising a peaceful protest, it added. “We appeal for the immediate release of Sintha who is currently detained in the police lock up in Thoubal police station,” the student body said. MSAD also condemns the act of police officer in-charge for not allowing any meeting with him by his family member and the concern peoples, it added.
Sintha was arrested on Wednesday by a team of Thoubal Commando, was produced before the court of CJM Thoubal on Thursday and remanded to five days police custody. Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) is civil society organisation campaigning against the menace of drugs and alcohol in Manipur since its inception in 2006.
The recent acquittal of Loukhosei Zou, former chairman, Autonomous District Council, Moreh who was arrested with 2.7 million rupees worth of drugs from his official residence in 2018 is protested by several civil society organisations. The 3.5 Collective, a civil society coalition, had also recently expressed strong condemnation to the arrest of Shintha, terming it as arbitrary arrest under false charges.
In the FIR drawn up against him, he is slapped with the fabricated charges, as an overground worker of an outlawed organisation, of section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, it said.