Journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem's wife, jailed under NSA, writes to Manipur government, 'release my husband too'

Journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem's wife, jailed under NSA, writes to Manipur government, 'release my husband too'

Elangbam Ranjita, wife of Manipur journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem, has written a letter to the state's chief secretary Rajesh Kumar, demanding the release of her husband. Recently, Manipur political activist Lichombam Erendro was released following the directions of the Supreme Court. Both Wangkhem and Erendro were arrested in May under the National Security Act (NSA) for their Facebook posts.

After the release of Lichombam from Imphal jail, the Manipur government on Monday withdrew its earlier order detaining him under Section-14(1) of the NSA. After this, Wangkhem's wife Ranjita has said in her letter that the government should also withdraw the order against her husband under the NSA.

According to the Hindustan Times report, Ranjeeta has written in her letter, "My husband is in custody under NSA since May 17 along with Lichombam Erendro in Sajiva Central Jail. On July 19, you withdrew the NSA against Erendro. The same section and charges were leveled against both under the law. However, my husband's custody order has not been withdrawn. Therefore, I request you to withdraw the charges under NSA against my husband."

Police arrested Wangkhem for the third time in 3 years

Ranjita wrote this letter on Tuesday. However, Ranjeeta said that till Wednesday evening there has been no response from the government on this. Wangkhem was earlier arrested in November 2018 for criticizing the N Biren Singh-led government. Several sections including sedition and NSA were imposed against him. He was released in April 2019 following the order of the Manipur High Court. After this he was also arrested in September 2020 on charges of sedition for his social media post.

Wangkhem and Erendro had made sarcastic remarks on social media after the death of Manipur BJP President S Tikendra Singh due to corona infection. Paying tribute on Facebook, both wrote in separate posts that cow dung or cow urine does not protect against Kovid-19. Only after this both were taken into custody by the police.

Can't be kept in jail even for a day: Supreme Court

On July 19, the Supreme Court had directed the release of Lichombam Erendro. The court had said in its order that he cannot be kept in jail even for a day. A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah had said that keeping him in custody would violate his fundamental right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

On coming out of jail, Erendro told the media that the action of the BJP-led state government amounted to abuse of power to silence the citizens. He said, “They are probably unaware that freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India. The people of Manipur will give a befitting reply to him in the state elections."

The Center is trying to find a peaceful solution to the Assam and Mizoram border dispute, no plans for a CBI inquiry - officials informed

The Center is trying to find a peaceful solution to the Assam and Mizoram border dispute, no plans for a CBI inquiry - officials informed

The Center has no plans to have a neutral agency like the CBI probe the recent clashes along the Assam-Mizoram border , but is trying to resolve the dispute peacefully at the earliest. Two top government officials said that the central government does not want to take any such decision which will worsen the situation.

He said that the central government wants a peaceful solution to the current border dispute between Assam and Mizoram and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in constant touch with both the Chief Ministers- Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam) and Zoramthanga (Mizoram). Zoramthanga also tweeted, "I still hope for an amicable solution to the Assam-Mizoram tension from the Center."

He also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Ministers of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura and Sikkim in his tweet. At the same time, the Chief Minister of Assam said in his tweet, "Our main objective is to keep the spirit of the Northeast alive. What happened on the Assam-Mizoram border is unacceptable to the people of both the states. The border dispute can be resolved only through discussion.

The clash took place on 26 July

Asked whether the probe into the July 26 clash was likely to be handed over to a neutral agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), both the top government officials said no decision has been taken in this regard yet. Five Assam policemen and a civilian were killed and more than 50 people were injured in the clash. Apart from this, neither state of Assam or Mizoram has made any formal request for a neutral agency to conduct an inquiry, he said.

One of these officials said, "Both the state governments are cooperating and the central government is confident that there will be no more clashes on the border." FIRs have been registered against political leaders, police and civil administration officials. Both the government officials mentioned the steps taken to reduce tension along the Assam-Mizoram border.

On July 28, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla.

The Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police of both the states participated in a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on July 28 in which it was decided to deploy a neutral force (CRPF) at the conflict site. Earlier, the two chief secretaries had met in a bilateral meeting in Delhi. After this, the central government issued an advisory to both the states asking them to maintain peace on the inter-state border. Both officials said the July 26 violence was a "sporadic" incident and such incidents are unlikely to happen again in future.