Manipur govt using power to silence people, says wife of journalist arrested under NSA

Imphal West (Manipur) [India], Dec 21 (ANI): The BJP-led Manipur government is using all their power to silence people, said Ranjita, wife of journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha, who was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) last month for allegedly making derogatory comments against Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh. Wangkhemcha, who was working for a local news channel in the northeastern state, had reportedly uploaded several videos last month calling Singh, a puppet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government. In his video clips, Wangkhemcha had apparently criticised the state government for observing Rani of Jhansi's birth anniversary and allegedly used derogatory words against the Chief Minister. "We have filed a petition in the High Court. How did it affect the nation's security? How can they use NSA? We don't know what to do now. They are using all their power to silence people," Ranjita told ANI. "This is not the right democratic process. In a democratic country, we can criticise. Even the Chief Judicial Magistrate in the bail itself said that it is not seditious even if you use a strict language and criticise the government. NSA is far away from this. Criticism in a democratic country is much to develop. We are in a developing country so without criticism how can we develop ourselves," she added. Wangkhemcha's habeas corpus petition will be heard at 2 pm today in the Manipur High Court. He had filed the petition on December 19 challenging his detention. "He has been in the jail for more than 20 days. He was booked under NSA after the state government failed to put charge under sedition," Wangkhem's lawyer Chongtham Victortold ANI. "This is clearly giving interference to the adjudication of the judicial process," he added. On December 14, the state government had reportedly ordered that Wangkhemcha should be kept under detention for a year. As per reports, the journalist was arrested on separate charges of sedition on November 21. On November 25, a local court released him on bail. On November 27, Wangkhemcha was detained under the NSA, which allows for detention of up to 12 months without trial, and has since been held at a jail in Imphal. (ANI)
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