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TUITHRAPHAI (CCpur), July 8, 2009: Sinlung People’s Liberation Organisation on Wednesday (July 8) tendered its apology to Pu Laltlangmawi and the Hmar public for what it termed “unauthorised collection of money” by its armed-wing Sinlung People’s Liberation Army's general secretary Mr Jacob L Hmar.

“In (the) recent past, there were some extortion threats served in SPLO’s name by one of our cadre Jacob alias Lalrohluna to a village Chief in Churachandpur district and a resident (read Pu Laltlangmawi) of Sielmat Village... This incident happened without the knowledge of any of the top SPLO leadership. For this we apologize on behalf of the organization to the general public,” SPLO general secretary Mr H T Khojol said, in a press statement, a copy of which is available with INPUI.

SPLO has admitted that Mr Jacob had extorted Rs 10,000 from Sielmat village chief on July 4 and also demanded Rs 2 lakh from Pu Laltlangmawi on July 1.

On July 3rd, Mr Jacob allegedly went to Sielmat and threatened to take 'action' against Pu Laltlangmawi if he ignored the SPLA's demand which was made over a mobile phone, that was later traced to the AR centre. Mr Jacob also allegedly fired two rounds in the air to show that he was serious about the demand notice.

Promising to return the money to the chief, Mr Khojol said, “We understand the trauma and stress caused to the victims to whom we render our sincere apology. We also promise to return the entire amount of Rs. 10,000/- taken from the village chief.”

The SPLO also "promised" that it will "not repeat such unlawful acts in future”.

However, SPLO was silent on the action taken against Mr Jacob for extorting money from the public without the outfit's authorisation.

Pu Laltlangmawi apologises to Assam Rifles
Meanwhile, Pu Laltlangmawi clarified that his statement about the Assam Riles giving shelter to SPLA cadres were based only on “ignorance" and "lack of patience".

In his letter of apology made available to the local media Pu Tlangmawi said, “We are factually flawed in erronously accusing 3(NH) Bn. Assam Rifles to be sheltering SPLA. We, out of ignorance never approached the Assam Rifles until July 6, when the Assam Rifles authorities promised us to investigate and punish the culprits. But, out of impatience due to desperation and stress, we approached the press with immature knowledge about the full picture of the situation.”

Thanking the AR for their help in identifying the man responsible for serving him extortion threats, Pu Laltlangmawi said: "On 7 July, 2009, we were helped in every possible ways by the 3(NH) Bn Assam Rifles in identifying the culprits and solving the issue. We really feel extremely dire in wrongly alleging the Assam Rifles who willingly came out their way to help us and feel secure."

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