Govt relents over salt row, KSA volunteers freed

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IMPHAL, June 13: The five volunteers of Kangleipak Students’ Association who were arrested by police after they conducted raids at shops owned by non-locals on charge of adulteration of a particular salt brand were released unconditionally from judicial custody today.

They were received warmly by hundreds of KSA volunteers, supporters, CSO leaders and their parents.

The five KSA volunteers released today are general secretary Sukham Bidyananda, son of S Kumar of Bashikong Torban, Langonjam Rajesh, 18, son of L Muhindro Singh of Yumnam Leikai, Khulakpam Sanjoy Singh, 19, son of Kh Ibo Singh of Samurou Mamang Leikai, Yumnam Luwangamba, 19, son of Y Suresh Singh of Yumnam Leikai and Nongmaithem Biren alias Alex, son of N Bisharup of Yumnam Leikai.

Following their release from Sajiwa Central Jail this afternoon, they were paraded in a procession of around 40 vehicles from there to Keishampat office of KSA passing through Khurai Lamlong, Citizens’ Club in Soibam Leikai Wangkhei Khunou, Nongmeibung, Palace Compound, New Checkon, Hatta Minuthong and Khuyathong.

Along the route, the supporters shouted slogans including “Long Live KSA,” “No adulteration of eatable items,” etc.

They also demanded proper action against the shopkeepers involved in adulteration of edible items at the earliest.

It may be mentioned that the five were arrested in the evening of May 27 by City Police personnel for allegedly seizing salt packets, which they claimed were adulterated, from two grocery shops at Thangal Bazar owned by Rajesh Kumar Yadav, 28, son of Bido Yadav of Bihar Khaariya, at present staying at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai and Dasrat Prasad of Telipati.

Following the arrest, the KSA with support from several organisations including meira paibi groups had launched several agitations including sit-in protest.

The KSA had even called a 48-hour general strike which was supposed to start from 5pm of June 11. However, it was called off at the last minute after deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam who also holds the Home portfolio had assured their release by the evening of June 13.

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