Manipur Journo, activist arrested over FB post on state BJP chief`s death

  • | Tuesday | 18th May, 2021

The cases of harassment and suppression of journalists have increased in the northeastern state of Manipur. The government does not entertain anyone who is expressing dissent over social media.

The cases of harassment and suppression of journalists have increased in the northeastern state of Manipur. The government does not entertain anyone who is expressing dissent over social media.

The National Security Act (NSA) has been imposed against journalist Kishore Chandra Wangkhem for writing a Facebook post following the demise of Manipur Pradesh BJP President Tikendra Singh from Covid-19. An Imphal court granted him bail on the first day, but the NSA was imposed on him before he could be released. The Manipur police, on Thursday evening, arrested Kishorechandra Wangkhem and activist Erendro Leichombam from their homes on 13 May. Both of them wrote in their social media posts that cow urine and cow dung are not a cure for the Coronavirus.

Last week Manipur Pradesh BJP President S. Tikendra Singh died of Covid-19. Then journalist Kishore Chandra Wangkhem wrote in one of his Facebook posts, "Dung and cow urine did not work. This argument is baseless. Tomorrow I will eat fish." Similarly, a human rights activist, Erendro Leichombam, wrote, "Dung and cow urine does not cure corona. It is possible to cure only with science and it is a matter of common knowledge. Professor G. RIP."

After this, State BJP Vice President Usham Deben and General Secretary P Premanand Meitei had filed a police complaint against these two. On this basis, the police arrested him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Kishore Chandra and Leichombam have been arrested for allegedly objectionable posts on Facebook in the past too. Kishore Chandra was arrested on charges of treason for remarks against the Chief Minister. He criticized Chief Minister N Biren Singh, calling him a puppet of the Center. Wangkhem had asked the Chief Minister whether the Rani of Jhansi had played any role in the rise of Manipur? At that time, Manipur was not even a part of India.

After the arrest, both were produced in the court where on Monday, the district`s chief judicial magistrate granted them bail on a surety of Rs 50,000 each. While granting bail, the court also laid down the condition that they would not repeat similar offence in future and be available for inquiry by the investigating officer if required. However, NSA was imposed after getting bail. Imphal West Superintendent of Police L Meghchandra Singh said that journalist and activist Lichombam was later booked under the NSA.


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