The government of Manipur has refused to compensate activist Erendro Leichombam for his arrest under the National Security Act (NSA) because of an objectionable Facebook remark.
According to the government’s affidavit submitted in Supreme Court, he is a “habitual offender” whose detention is necessary to protect public order.
In July, hours after the Supreme Court ordered his immediate release, the activist walked out of the Manipur Central Jail.
On May 13, he and journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem were arrested by the police for their Facebook posts about the death of Manipur BJP chief S Tikendra Singh, who died of COVID-19.
In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, district magistrate (Imphal West) stated, “Arrest of detenu was essential in order to prevent him from indulging in further hatred or insulting comments on social media and abusing his position as a political activist.”
The declaration was filed in response to Erendro’s father’s claim for compensation for his son’s detention under the National Security Act (NSA), which allows for up to two years of imprisonment without trial.
Erendro is described in the affidavit as an “influential young social activist” with a large social media following that elevates him to the rank of “celebrity.”
The affidavit was taken on record by a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah, who agreed to consider compensation on August 23.
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