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Shocking: Manipur CM Justifies Journalist’s Arrest For Criticising Modi, RSS; Says Don’t Have Right to Abuse Anyone Publicly

Kishorechandra Wangkhem was awarded a 12-month prison sentence under the NSA for posting a video critical of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and PM Modi on Facebook

Justifying the recent sentencing of Kishorechandra Wangkhem under the National Security Act (NSA) for reportedly criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Manipur and also used foul language against the party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Manipur Chief Minister (CM) N Biren Singh has asserted that those in power cannot be abused publicly.

“Be it doctors or politicians — we are here to serve the people. We are not here to take your abuses. If you are a common people and if you think you can say anything to those in power, no you can’t. If somebody in power has done any wrong, you can go to the court. But you don’t have the right to abuse anyone publicly,” Singh said in Imphal, at a function of doctors, on December 22.

Singh also said that though right of expression was guaranteed under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution, the Article 19 (2) says one has to maintain decency and morality. “There is rule of law in this country and we should respect that,” adding, “There may be one or two mistakes by people in power. The other day I have suspended five policemen for a custodial death but that doesn’t mean you will abuse them publicly.”

Wangkhem, who was detained on November 27, was awarded a 12-month prison sentence under the NSA “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 Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Facebook. He was arrested under Sections 294 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 124A, which pertains to sedition. On November 25, 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.”

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

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