Manipur student leader facing sedition charge gets bail

Manipur student leader facing sedition charge gets bail

Veewon Thokchom

Manipur high court on Tuesday granted bail to student leader Veewon Thokchom, who was arrested on sedition charge.

The court did not entertain Manipur police's petition seeking Thokchom's custody for interrogation.

Thokchom was arrested from his rented house in New Delhi on Friday last, following an FIR lodged by the state police, which accused him of spreading "provocative messages to incite" people during the protest against the NDA's Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. He had posted his comment regarding the bill in his Facebook account, which according to police, was provocative. 

Opposition to bill

The bill that sought to grant citizenship to non-Muslim "persecuted" migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanisthan,  was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8. The Centre, however, did not take it up in the Rajya Sabha to avoid impending defeat during voting and due to strong protests in the Northeast.

Indigenous people in the Northeast are opposed to the bill fearing that it would reduce them into minorities by giving citizenship to large numbers of "illegal migrants". The strong protests had worried the BJP-led Manipur government. 

Veewon had filed a bail application in the high court after he was produced in a court in Imphal on Monday.