Imphal: This is a way of instilling fear among the public so that they don’t criticise the government, said Ranjita Elangbam, wife of Kishorechandra Wagkhem, a Manipur-based journalist who was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) on November 27, after a board of judges, set up under the Act, approved his detention. He has since been in jail in Imphal.
The arrest was made following several video clips uploaded by the journalist last month criticising the state chief minister N Biren Singh for being a “puppet” of the PM Narendra Modi-led Central government. The NSA allows detention of up to a year without a trial.
He was earlier arrested on charges of sedition on November 20, after uploading the video on November 19, before being released on bail on November 26 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court.
The controversy was stoked after Wangkham criticised the state government for commemorating the Rani of Jhansi, a queen who fought the British invaders. He raised the point that the queen had nothing to do with the state’s struggle against the colonial rulers.
Narrating her ordeal Ranjita told EastMojo, “As a family it is a very disturbing situation, we are fighting all alone. He was taken by the police without showing any arrest warrant and we were not even given a chance to talk to him and the next thing we know is that he was booked under NSA.”
She added, “He was given bail by the CJM court which admitted that there was nothing seditious and harmful in the video. So, where did NSA come from? We are not associated with any political party or organisation for that matter.”
Talking resolutely about fighting the “injustice” meted out to them, she stated, “I will fight till my husband gets justice and his dignity back. He is not a terrorist, he just criticised the government. Aren’t we allowed to criticise the government in a democratic country. It’s like the government is making an example out of him that if you criticise or raise your voice against them, you would be put behind the bars.”