Other States

Manipur political activist freed

Political activist Erendra Leichongbam (40) was released on Monday evening following a Supreme Court order to release him before 5 p.m. from the central jail at Sajiwa in Imphal east district.

Mr. Leichongbom was a former associate of human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who scripted world history by sitting on fast for more than 10 years demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.

Kishorjit Wangkhem, a journalist, was also arrested on the same day- May 13, 2021, on similar charges. Mr. Leichongbam furnished a bail bond of ₹1,000.

Following the death of State BJP president S. Tikendra due to COVID-19, Mr. Leichongbom posted in his Facebook account that COVID-19 cure is not cow dung and cow urine by “science and common sense”. He made the remark at a time when some MPs claimed that they were free of the pandemic by using them.

NSA ‘misused’

Soon after his release, Mr. Leichongbom said he had written the message within the freedom given by the Constitution. “But the NSA [National Security Act] was misused when the government invoked its provisions. It is trying to muzzle the voices of people. I hope that people will give a fitting reply when elections are held early next year.”

Mr. Leichongbom’s father Raghumanni Leichongbam, in his petition, argued that the NSA was invoked to defeat the bail granted to his son. There was misuse of the preventive detention law to stifle a completely innocuous speech, he added.

Usham Deven, vice-president of the State unit BJP, in his complaint, had said BJP workers and family members of Tikendra felt insulted and outraged and their religious feeling and sentiment hurt by the Facebook posts.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:27:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/manipur-political-activist-freed/article35416520.ece

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