Manipur: FIR against ITLF spokesman for spreading 'fake news'
Manipur police booked the spokesperson and leaders of the ITLF for allegedly circulating fake information on arms and ammunition
The Manipur Police has registered a case against Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF) spokesperson Ginza Vualzong for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups and creating public mischief, a charge denied by the organisation.
Police booked the spokesperson and leaders of ITLF, an umbrella group of Kuki organisations in Churachandpur, for allegedly circulating a fake news about arms and ammunition being brought into the state by the recently started goods train service.
Registering a 'zero FIR' based on a complaint by a trader, the Manipur Police filed the case in Imphal sub-division under sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with promoting enmity on grounds of religion, race etc, defamation, spreading rumours and creating ill-will between two communities.
The FIR will later be transferred to the Khangshong police station under Tamenglong district for investigation.
The complaint was filed by traders, who feared that their goods would be looted at the Khangshong railway station after Vualzong made a statement that the majority community was smuggling arms and ammunition into the valley through trains.
Khangshong is the last station in the state which is connected to the railway link.
Denying the charges as baseless, Vualzong said that filing of the FIR is yet another way by the state government to "suppress the voice of tribals".
"Before this, our official Twitter account was withheld by the social networking site following a direction from the Manipur Police, and now this Zero FIR," he said.
The ITLF spokesperson termed the registering of case as "trivial" and added that the entire case is about sloganeering. "I wonder why the state authorities turn a deaf ear when slogans like wiping out the entire tribal community are raised at rallies of the majority community," he said.