1-year jail to Manipur journo for criticising BJP, Modi

1-year jail to Manipur journo for criticising BJP, Modi

National Security Act (NSA) was imposed upon Kishorechand Wangkhem on November 27.

A Manipur-based journalist was sentenced for a one-year jail term for allegedly criticising BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media. 

Kishorechand Wangkhem, a former journalist working in a local TV channel, was arrested on November 20 and got bail on 26. Later the police arrested him under the National Security Act (NSA).

Wangkhem had uploaded a video on his social media account on November 19, in which he questioned the Manipur govt for celebrating Rani Laxmibai's birth anniversary. In the English and Meitie live video, Wangkhem accused Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh as a "puppet of Centre" and a "puppet of Hindutva".

He asked why the government was observing the birth anniversary of Rani of Ranjhi, whose deeds had nothing to do with Manipur.

Responding to this video, chief minister Singh said the government observe Laxmibai's birth anniversary due to her role in the unification of the nation.

Wangkhem's wife, E Ranjita appealed to the government to release her husband, saying there was no reason for his arrest under the NSA. It is learnt that the family will challenge the jail term.

Defending Wangkhem's arrest, BJP spokesperson Ch Bijoy claimed he was arrested not for a single crime and he had been remanded in judicial custody in the past too.

Congress spokesperson Kh Joykishan has challenged the state government to arrest him too if it was determined to put all the citizens who speak against it behind bars.

Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, in a statement, has directed the government to "take a report on the facts of the case, along with a reply statement."

(With input from PTI)