SoO group UTLA/KNO clarifies arrests of its president in alleged drug trade

Imphal: The United Tribal Liberation Army, a group under Suspension of Operation with the government has countered that Lemtinsei Singsong @Seipu (50), president of UTLA/KNO, Seiphu faction, who was apprehended on October 15, 2023 with 124.87 grams of brown sugar by 39 Assam Rifles is not involved in drug trade.

Laminsei Singsong, son of Letkhosei of Chiengkonpang, Churchandpur, UTLA say was arrested and wrongly implicated in illegal drugs trade.

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Calling the action of the AR a “wrongful arrest,” UTLA from its tactical office in Assam, clarified that Lemtingsei Singson was “not at all involved in drugs related business, instead he was the pioneer in fighting against drug menace in the society.”

UTLA went a step further and said the accused within the KNO is known for the important role he plays in “War against Drugs” and that he is in no way associated with any of the Drugs Cartel.

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“His arrest was staged by 39 AR stationed at Tactical Headquarter Kadamtala, Jiribam, Manipur. It is highly suspicious that the Company Commander of the said AR Post could be acting at the behest of the State Government and Meitei CSOs for fulfilling their unfounded claims to brand the Kuki-Zo people as NARCO-TERRORIST. He [the Company Commander] was implicated just to defame his [Lemtinsei Singsong] integrity by some individuals for their vested interest and own personal gains. It is a fact that neither any psychotropic substance was found in his Bolero vehicle nor any weapon in his possession. The only items found inside his vehicle are the Christians’ Bible and his Diary,” the condemnation note maintained.

The group further added that the Kuki National Organization, which is the parent organisation of UTLA has been categorically banning poppy cultivation since 2016.

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It also said that response from the chiefs in the interest of preserving the environment and to disengage from illegal activities had been very positive.

“Knowing that poppy cultivation and illegal drugs trade will bring disgrace to the community besides causing irreparable damage to the environment, let alone the ill consequences upon the general population, the UTLA/KNO has time and again issued stern warning to those individuals engaged in poppy cultivation and illegal drugs businesses,” the press note added.

UTA while appealing the concerned authority that the charge against its president ‘must’ be withdrawn and released unconditionally, UTLA said, Lemtinsei Singsong is one of the staunch supporters of War on Drugs.

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