Anti-BJP social media post lands Manipur journalist in 12-month custody

Manipur journalist, Kishorechandra Wangkhem was sentenced to 12 month detention under the National Security Act for allegedly targeting the BJP and PM Narendra Modi in a FB post

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NH Web Desk

Manipur journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem was sentenced under the National Security Act for allegedly targeting the BJP in Manipur and PM Narendra Modi in a Facebook post. He has been sentenced to a 12-month detention. He was taken into custody almost a month ago for the same charge.

According to authorities, he was detained on November 27 for a Facebook video in which he was criticising the Chief Minister N Biren Singh and PM Narendra Modi. The reason for the initial detainment according to government officials as stated in a news report by NDTV, was to "prevent him from acting in any matter prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of public order".

Talking mostly in Manipuri in the video, he has called Biren Singh a “puppet” of the RSS and PM Modi. The reason for Wangkhem’s rant was the hosting of a function meant to mark the birth anniversary of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. This is despite the fact that the legendary queen had nothing to do with the state. He is also heard stating that he dared the government to arrest him again.

He had reportedly quit his job with Information Service Television Network before posting the video on Facebook. While some have condemned his arrest, the All Manipur Working Journalists Union stated that a rant on social media does not account for journalism.

His family intends on challenging his detention, which is the maximum period under the National Security Act.

"In consonance with the opinion expressed by the Advisory Board and in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 12(1) of the said Act, the Governor of Manipur is pleased to order that the detention of Kishorchandra Wangkhem... is hereby confirmed," the order from the office of Manipur governor Dr Najma Heptulla stated according to a report in NDTV.

Many activists have condemned the National Security Act stating that it a draconian law that could more often than not be misused for other purposes

Kishorechandra Wangkhem, was also arrested prior to this in August on separate but similar charges of uploading inflammatory posts on social media. He was placed in custody for 15 days after being produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West.

He was accused of committing a cyber crime without actually specifying the posts for which he was being arrested. The Imphal Police Station had filed a suo moto case against Wangkhem and charged him under IPC sections 505(2) and 506.

According to an FIR against him, he was put in jail for posting images with captions that intended to “cause fear or alarm to sections of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or public tranquility and incited any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community, promoting enmity or hatred between classes on ground of religion, caste or community.”

Many activists have condemned the National Security Act stating that it a draconian law that could more often than not be misused for other purposes.

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