The All-Manipur Working Journalists' Union has condemned the arrest of two journalists without arrest warrant despite the Supreme Court's directive.

The Imphal East district police arrested on Monday Moirangthem Romeo, correspondent of Doordharshan, Imphal, and a local cable channel, ISTV; and Atom Lukhoi, correspondent of vernacular newspaper Poknapham. They are vice-president and secretary of the All Jiribam Working Journalists' Union (AJWJU).

Reports said the police raided their houses at Jiribam in Imphal East district in the early hours before their arrest. The family members of the journalists were not informed of the reasons. Protesting against the police action, women vigilantes at Jiribam blocked the roads and all shops pulled down shutters.

The AJWJU submitted a memorandum to the government demanding immediate release of the journalists.

Thokchom Radheshyam, Police Superintendent of Imphal East district, alleged that the two journalists were involved in extortion of money for proscribed underground organisations. Police said that since the involvement of journalists in the armed movement was deep remand for at least 15 days would be sought.

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