Action of the government, which makes tall claims about the “War on Drugs”, against CADA demanding stern punishment for the drug smugglers, drew widespread condemnation for CSOs. They demanded immediate release of Sintha without any condition
Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) Thoubal District Committee general secretary Sintha Laishram (28) was arrested by Thoubal police for allegedly sharing photographs of a sit-in protest staged by members of Ningol Club of Heirok and CADA on Wednesday.
Action of the government, which makes tall claims about the “War on Drugs”, against CADA demanding stern punishment for the drug smugglers, drew widespread condemnation for CSOs. They demanded immediate release of Sintha without any condition.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Alert urged Manipur Human Rights Commission’s urgent intervention “to ensure that the rights of human rights defender Sintha Laishram is not violated for carrying out lawful and legitimate human rights work”.
“No arrest warrant is issued and family members cannot meet him. He is currently detained in the police lockup of Thoubal Police Station. Officer in Charge of the police station is not allowing any meeting, without the permission of the SP and the SP is not contactable, said Human Rights Alert Executive Director Babloo Loitongbam’s communiqué to the MHRC chairperson.
Sintha Laishram S/o. L. Maine Singh of Heirok Part III, Champrathong was arrested around 1.30 pm from his residence by a team of the Thoubal District police commandos for organizing the sit-in against the acquittal of Loukhosei Zou.
The sit-in was part of ongoing protest against the inaction of the government over the Lhukhosei Zou case and Phoudel drug case. The protestors held placards like “Chief minister should resign,” “We are against the acquittal of Lhukhosei Zou,” “Don’t let war on drugs become a joke,” amongst others.
Interestingly, Sintha took photographs of the protest meeting and shared them on social media platforms.
Speaking to The Frontier Manipur, Ningol Club president Sofia Khundongbam said the sit-in passed off peacefully without any incident. However, the Thoubal SP called her up and enquired about the sit-in particularly the placards used in it. The SP mentioned about the placard that read “Chief minister should resign”, she added.
Later, a team of Heirok police along with women police personnel raided her residence and confiscated all placards, she said.
Meanwhile, Thoubal Ima publicity secretary Maisnam Manglembi condemned Sintha’s arrest without providing any arrest memo. She demanded the release of Sintha unconditionally.
CADA strongly condemned the arrest of Sintha and demanded his immediate release without any condition.
In a press release, CADA said that as part of its campaign to eradicate drugs and illicit substances from the state, sustained democratic agitations like sit-ins, Meira rallies, human chain demonstrations, have been organised against the judgment of the 2018 multi-crore drug haul case and Phoudel drug case.
It is surprising that the government maintained silence over the more than three months protest demanding the government to appeal to a higher court against the Judgment of Lhukhosei Zou case, CADA said. It is not the right decision to arrest someone for protesting and demanding the government to appeal according to the law, he added.
CADA said that ever since it has been agitating regarding the Lhukhosei Zou case Manipur police has been threatening its members and has also thwarted others from organising such protests. But the arrest of Sintha has revealed that the government has been trying to suppress the protests and it also demonstrates that there is a high-level collusion, it added.
Meanwhile, the parents of Sintha were taken to Heirok Community Health Centre, after their health deteriorated after hearing arrest of their son. Naorem (O) Asha Devi, sister of Sintha, lamented that no family members have been allowed to meet him till the filing of this report. Sintha was arrested around 1.00 pm.
Sintha has been quite active on social media platforms and regularly shared his views and news related to Lhukhosei Zou case and Phoudel drug case.Police, Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol