Manipur: Detained journalists freed after CM-scribes' body meet

Two journalists were booked following an article in their website "openly endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities."

Published: 18th January 2021 07:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2021 07:39 PM   |  A+A-

Executive editor of 'Frontier Manipur' Paojel Chaoba (extreme right) (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Two editors of a Manipur web portal were released a day after they were detained by the police in connection with an opinion piece, titled “Revolutionary Journey in a Mess”, which the portal had published on January 8.

The release of Frontier Manipur’s editor-in-chief Dhiren Sadokpam and executive editor Paojel Chaoba followed a meeting that Chief Minister N Biren Singh had with a delegation of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and Editors’ Guild Manipur.

The FIR, filed by the police, states: “The author (M Joy Luwang) openly endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed shock and dismay at the deteriorating character of the armed revolutionary leaders of Manipur in the recent decade”.

It further stated that the article clearly expressed sympathy and support to the ideologies and activities of the armed revolutionary groups and out-right called the rule of law of the Union government as colonial law.

On Sunday, a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code was registered by the police against the two senior journalists. None of them was produced in a court.

Chaoba said that they were released at around 4 pm. “A team of the AMWJU and Editors Guild had met the chief minister on our behalf. Later, they (police) made us sign on some paper and let us off,” he said. 

“We still don’t know who this author Mr. M Joy Luwang is. It is our grey area,” the journalist said.

He said prior to his release, he had written a letter to the Imphal West Superintendent of Police stating that the same article was published by two other local newspapers earlier.

The two scribes’ detention had drawn censure. Condemning it, the Foundation for Media Professionals had said the article in question was largely a critique of militant groups, tracing what its author believes are the historical causes of their decline.

“The existence of such groups in the past, and of their journey, is well known to all in Manipur. The history of Northeast India is replete with examples of leaders of armed insurgent outfits who subsequently became ministers, heads of territorial councils, members of parliament, and chief ministers. They were not charged with sedition or terrorism,” the foundation had stated in a statement.


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