Kishorechandra Wangkhem

Manipur News | IMPHAL | Apr 10

Following the completion of all formalities for the revocation of detention order of journalist, Kishorchandra Wangkhem under NSA by the State Home department as directed by the Special Bench of High Court of Manipur on April 8, the journalist was released from Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa today around 3.30pm.

Kishorchandra Wangkhem while interacting with the media on being released expressed his gratitude to various civil voluntary organisations, student bodies, lawyers and media fraternity for supporting him and their roles and efforts, in getting him released.

Speaking about the self-recorded video in which he expressed his opinions on the stance of the chief minister, N. Biren regarding a function celebrating Rani of Jhansi and linking it to the freedom movement of Manipur, he said, he realised that had used expletives in the video recorded on November 20. He said he was carried away by emotions, and begged pardon from the public for this.

He said he became quite emotional by the Government’s celebration of birthday of Rani of Jhansi in the State. He found the occasion irrelevant in the context of Manipur as the general public of the State are demanding the inclusion of the history of those freedom fighters of the State in the educational curriculum, he said.

He said this was the reason behind his emotional outburst, he said.

He felt this was done with a policy agenda of cultural and religious assimilation of the people of the state, threatening in the process the obliteration of different indigenous ethnic populations inhabiting the state.

He said, the threat he was apprehensive of is now vindicated by the Government’s attempt to impose the contentious CAB which is against the wills of entire population of the Northeast states. This happened more than a month after he was detained under NSA by the State Government, he said.

He expressed his appreciation on the recent verdict of the Special Bench of Court of Manipur for honouring his fundamental Rights (Freedom of Speech and Express) guaranteed by the Constitution of India, and revoking his detention under NSA by the State Government.

He further said, he knew that as soon as he was detained under NSA he along with his families were kept under surveillance by the state government and it might continue after he is released but he will not give up and will continue to fight against any moves of suppressing the freedom of speech and expression, or any steps which may pose at threat to the ethnic groups of the State.

It may be mentioned that, Kishorchandra Wankhem filed his petition through his counsel on December 19, Ch. Victor and prayed the court to quash the detention order,

approval order and confirmation order saying that none of the ground furnished to the petitioner covers the expression of “prejudicial to the security of the state and to the maintenance of public order.”

It also mentioned in the petition that, “The grounds of detention are vague and the allegations made therein did not lend apprehension for acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the state and to the maintenance of public order. Those so called grounds merely relates to freedom of speech and expression at best.”

Kishorchandra was arrested on November 24 for posting a video recording abusing the stance of chief minister, N. Biren regarding a function organised in regard to Rani of Jhansi being linked with the freedom movement of Manipur. But the chief judicial magistrate released him on November 26 stating that, “The words, terms and gesture used by the accused in the video cannot be termed as seditious. It is mere expression of opinion against the public conduct of public figure in a street language.”

The next day he was picked up from his residence by police and detained him under section (3)(2) of the NSA Act 1980.

On December 14, the state government approved the detention of Kishorchandra under National Security Act (NSA) passed by the district magistrate, Imphal West and fixed the period of detention for a period of one year from the date of detention.

Various organisations including the Press Council of India, Indian Journalist Union, student bodies termed the detention as arbitrary and demanded release of Kishorchandra.

In the meantime, soon after Kishorchandra Wangkhem was released from Manipur Central Jail Sajiwa Jail, he was given a warm reception by various leaders of civil voluntary organisations, rights activist at the Jail gate and later on by the volunteers of SSUM and Human Right Alert at Manipur Press Club.

~IFP

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