Kishorechandra Wangkhem, an Imphal-based journalist, was arrested under National Security Act (NSA)
NEWS

Manipur: Political blame game on over journalist’s arrest

Congress MLA Kh Joykisan terms BJP a lawbreaker; the saffron party, in turn, urges the opposition party not to create a scene in this regard

Imphal: A few days after the arrest of Kishorechandra Wangkhem, an Imphal-based journalist, under the National Security Act (NSA), political parties have now turned to blame game over the issue.

While Congress MLA Kh Joykisan termed BJP a lawbreaker, the saffron party, in turn, has blamed the opposition party of playing politics.

Coming down heavily on chief minister N Biren Singh, Joykisan alleged that the CM himself was arrested on charges of sedition when he was an editor. “Despite the charges, the chief minister was allowed to go scot-free by a local court. The chief minister should remember that. The BJP is the lawbreaker and not Kishorechandra,” the Congress spokesperson and MLA from Thangmeiband constituency told reporters.

Severely criticising the Congress party, state BJP spokesperson Chontham Bijoy said that the BJP defends the arrest of Kishorechandra under the NSA. “We would like to request the Congress party not to create a scene in this regard,” the state BJP leader said while addressing a press conference at Chanchipur.

Terming the Congress party of trying to derail the whole issue to gain their vested political interest, the BJP state spokesperson also urged the state Congress leadership to concentrate on fulfilling their duties maintaining responsibility.

The BJP has also termed the arrest of Imphal-based journalist under the NSA as an attempt to maintain peace and harmony in the state.

“He is the 10th individual to be arrested under the NSA and all those before him were underground extremists,” Chontham Bijoy said, adding: “Persons arrested under the NSA will be judged by the NSA board and the MLAs have no authority to do so.”

Kishorechandra was booked under NSA for uploading a video in which he criticised chief minister N Biren Singh over a function organised on the birth anniversary of Rani of Jhansi on November 19. He was arrested after the video went viral on social media. In the video, he is also heard hurling abuses at the BJP and RSS.

Meanwhile, contradicting the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU)‘s resolution, The Imphal Times, an English newspaper of the state, kept its editorial page blank on Saturday as a mark of protest against the arrest of the journalist.