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Scrap NSA, Manipur journalist demands after release from jail

The Manipur High Court quashed the NSA detention order on April 8 after journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem had spent more than four months in jail.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2019 20:46 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Manipuri journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem spent more than four months in jail after he was charged under NSA. (Facebook)

The “draconian” National Security Act should be scrapped, journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem said after he walked out of Manipur Central Jail in Sajiwa after spending around four and a half months in detention.

The Manipur High Court quashed the NSA detention order on April 8.

“This kind of law has no place in a democracy. It should be scrapped,” Wangkhem told HT on phone.

“Slapping NSA on me was absolute misuse of power and suppression of my rights to freedom of speech and expression. It was a manifestation of autocratic rule of the present government,” he said.

Wangkhem (39) who worked with a local news channel in Imphal was detained ‪‪on November 27 under the NSA.

On November 26, a chief judicial magistrate had granted him bail after he was first arrested for sedition ‪on November 20 saying that there was nothing seditious in his posts.

“They slapped NSA even after the Court’s order with the sole motive of suppressing my voice and keeping me behind bars,” Wangkhem said.

Wangkhem was arrested ‪‪on November 20 after he uploaded videos criticizing and abusing the BJP-led Manipur government for observing the birth anniversary of Rani of Jhansi. Wanghkem, in the videos said Rani of Jhansi had nothing do with Manipur and called Chief Minister N Biren Singh a puppet of the Centre and Hindutva.

He had been arrested once earlier in August for alleged communal posts on social media.

In January Congress president Rahul Gandhi had written a letter to Wangkhem’s family calling his arrest an attempt by the State machinery to silence dissent.

Wangkhem says he fears that he could be targeted again. “But after the support that I received in the last four months, they would certainly think twice,” he said.

First Published: Apr 10, 2019 20:45 IST