Updated on 24 May 2020, 5:00 am
Seized betel leaves being unloaded from the truck on May 23, 2020 (PHOTO: IFP)
Despite the lockdown and government’s order to stop importing tobacco and its products, betel leaves are being transported into the state by traders. A joint team of Indigenous People’s Association of Kangleipak (IPAK) and Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA) on Saturday seized huge quantity of betel leaves. The joint body cautioned the driver and owner to surrender within three days.
A release issued and signed by publicity secretary, IPAK, RK Pritam and secretary general, KSA, Seram Hemjit Meitei mentioned that the huge quantity of betel leaves were seized on Friday night from Kotlen area along national highway 37 (Imphal- Jiribam).
The betel leaves (90 baskets) were brought in a truck bearing registration number NL-01G-9159. It said the drive was conducted along with a team of New Keithelmanbi police station based on reliable information received by the KSA and IPAK.
The seized betel leaves were buried at a place under the jurisdiction of the said police station on Saturday. The organisations expressed its gratitude towards Kuki Students’ Block (KSO) Moltam block, Kangpokpi district and villagers of Kotlen for extending help while burying the seized betel leaves, it stated. It informed the owner of the truck, Rajiv Kapoor and transport arranger, Pratap of Lamdeng Bazar must surrender at KSA and IPAK within three days.
During the lockdown, the state government has suspended importing of non-essential items in the state but number of non-essential items has been importing illegally, the release stated. It further said many non-essential items have been importing in the state through the two national highways and the two bodies will started monitoring the transport vehicles.
The release further appealed to the department concerned to monitor the issue immediately.