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Manipur: Journalist Sentenced to a Year in Prison under NSA for Criticising Narendra Modi, RSS

According to a government order, Kishorechandra Wangkhem was detained on November 27 to prevent him from acting in any matter prejudicial to security of state and to maintenance of public order.

Kishorechandra Wangkhem, the Manipuri journalist who was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) was reportedly sentenced to a 12-month prison sentence — the maximum allowed — under the Act. According to a government order, Wangkhem was detained on November 27, “with a view to prevent him from acting in any matter prejudicial to the security of the state and to the maintenance of public order.”

Wangkhem was arrested by the Manipur Police for posting a video critical of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Facebook. In the video, Wangkhem reportedly criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state and also used foul language against it and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Wangkhem was arrested under Sections 294 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 124A, which pertains to sedition. On November 25, however, a local court released him on bail. In its bail order, the court cited Wangkhem’s words as being, “A mere expression of opinion against the public conduct of a public figure in a street language.”

However, Wangkhem was re-arrested under the NSA on November 26 and since then, he has been lodged at the Sajiwa jail.

The Wire reported that the advisory board, established under Section 9 of the Act, held a meeting on December 9 to hear the allegations against Wangkhem. Accordingly, the board submitted its report, approving of his detention under the Act on December 13.

The approval for his detention order, reportedly, stated, “After considering the proximate past activities of the [detainee] and potential danger of his activities which are prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of public order and there is apprehension of his continuing to act in [similarly] prejudicial activities, the moment he is released from detention, is further of the opinion that the said person should be detained for the maximum period of 12 months as provided under Section 13 of the said Act.”

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