TODAY -

Release Journalist Keshorechandra Wangkhem

29th January, 2019 , New Delhi



Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in association with Manipur Students' Association Delhi (MSAD) organized a press conference on Tuesday demanding immediate release of journalist Keshorechandra Wangkhem. Wangkhem was detained under the National Security Act (NSA) by Manipur government for criticising the government.

Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) founder and senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves condemned the attack on freedom of speech and expression.

“Sedition law is not understood properly- in the old English law, thinking or saying a few words in privacy against the crown was punishable. Things may be offensive and abhorrent but it has nothing to do with sedition law unless torts and words are supported by actions. Classic cases in Punjab and Kashmir where people who hadn’t actually acted against the State were said to be seditious, and the Supreme Court acquitted them both. We have initiated the Legal Defence of Defenders, where across India, a network of lawyers and a journalist is made so that any journalist who can’t find a lawyer or can’t say for one, can get one,” said Gonsalves.

Justice Markandey Katju, former Judge of Supreme Court of India, former chairman of Press Council of India said, “Undemocratic politicians have lost their minds, people are allowed to dissent to the govt. in a democracy. In a democracy people have the right to criticize the govt. and democracy means people are supreme. There have been many cases where artists, cartoonist and journalists have been attacked. This is my appeal to Manipur’s people to become the leader and guide the way and start the movement.”

Keshorechandra Wangkhem, a journalist in Manipur, was arrested under National Security Act (NSA) on November 27, 2018, for a video he uploaded on social media. In the video, Keshorechandra is seen criticizing the N. Biren Singh’s government for comparing the fight of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi against the British with that of Manipur’s freedom movement against the colonial rule.

The government’s decision to detain the journalist under NSA came as a shock to the journalist and human rights community. On November 26, a day before his detention under NSA, a lower court hearing a charge of sedition brought against Wangkhem for the same video, had released him on bail stating that what was said in the video was not seditious in nature. Less than 24 hours after he was released on court’s order, Keshorechandra was picked up by local police and later charged under the NSA.

Ranjita Elangbam, wife of Keshorechandra narrated how their lives were turned upside down only because her husband and journalist decided to criticize the government. “Police forces were in our house searching for him, in all places, shocking, it might be there duty or under pressure to look for that guy, but they were searching for my daughter, how much money you have. They searched my phone, took it away and we couldn’t communicate with anyone.

The police kept him under judicial custody for 5 days. On 26th November they got bail and the next day he was detained under NSA. We were left helpless and stranded alone and we didn’t know how to sort things out. This is an appeal to everyone to support us and demand immediate release of KeshorechandWangkhem, ” said Ranjita.

HRLN has been fighting the case of journalist Keshorechandra and February 1 is the next hearing.

“In modern India, ‘the "state" is not free to act in any manner it likes, it is inconceivable that a civilized country would use preventive detention as a substitute for the criminal law. National Security Act has been misused and abused far too often as a political weapon of those in power against their political or ideological enemies and to curtail the dissent voice. NSA is dangerous to a secular democracy like India as it is extremely prejudicial to personal liberty and violates fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression. We strongly condemn the use of draconian law like NSA against Journalist, political and human rights activist working in the interest of people and demand immediate release of Journalist Kishorchandra and to repeal NSA, ” said Shreeji Bhavsar, Advocate in HRLN, who is handling the case of Keshorechandra.

The case has attracted a lot of criticism from media and people. Thokchom Veewon, President Manipur Students’ Association Delhi, pointed out that detaining people under NSA has become a norm in Manipur and this is the kind of society we are living in. “Manipur as a state has been neglected by the government and we have been fighting against the armed forces since a long time. This has become a norm to detain someone under NSA as far as Manipur is concerned. And this is disheartening to know that this is a kind of society we are living in. This is an appeal to people and the government to release Keshorechandra and raise voice in helping us to protect our rights,” added Veewon. They echoed the concerns of Ranjita, wife of Keshorechandra and demanded immediate release from both Manipur state government and the central government.

The meeting was attended by Sabina Inderjit, general secretary Indian Journalist Union (IGU) and the Vice President of International Federation of Journalist (IFJ). Sabina Inderjit said IJU strongly condemned the arrest of Journalist Keshorchand under NSA by the Manipur Government. IGU not only condemned the arrest of Keshorchandra Wangkhem but also told to our each state unit members to condemn and follow the case. Sabina reportedly told to Ranjita, Wife of Keshorchand that “we are with the family of Keshorchandra. You are not alone in this fight”

Deputy editor at The Wire, Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty was also took part in the Press Conference Cum Public Meeting . Sangeeta said “In the last assembly election, people of Manipur were desperate for a change of government but the election machinery in the state was such that they were not sure of it. When the BJP led government was formed after the election many welcome it.

There was a lot of hope from the government from both in the hills and in the valley. Increasing I have been noticing a feeling of public discontent with the government. They expected a lot from it. If you set aside the expletives that keshorchandra used, what you spot is the same loss of hope and frustration. I request the Chief Minister to recognize the sentiment behind this discontent like any good leader would and release him from custody. The CM must not forget the people of Manipur have seen a lot a state excesses, miss governance and injustice. What they want is a government that listens to them. I stand in solidarity with Kishorchandra’s family in this hour of need and stand on the side of the citizen’s right to dissent”.

At the end of this Press Conference cum Public Meeting, People collectively condemn the arrest of Keshorchandra Wangkhem under NSA and urged the Government of Manipur and Government of India to release Keshorchandra Wangkhem immediately.

Human Rights Law Network
Office of Press & Information
Address: Masjid Rd, Bhogal, Jangpura, New Delhi, Delhi 110014



* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Dr. Seram Rojesh, Communication Officer, HRLN who can be contacted at seram(AT)hrln(DOT)org
This Press Release was posted on January 30 2019

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Attitude to life and family
  • Breaking the glass ceiling
  • 28th NAMA Convention at Chicago
  • Inpui Naga Karing Ngei 2018 : Book
  • Dr. Md. Hamidur Rahaman : AMP Award
  • World Patient Safety Day
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Peace talk reportedly at final stage
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #11
  • 48th Foundation Day of RIMS : Gallery
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead
  • Licypriya : Climate change in Angola
  • World Ozone Day 2019
  • iKON 4th anniversary : Indian iKONIC
  • Gratitude to Dk. Korungthang
  • Xavier Board Higher Education Conference
  • Confusing announcement: ban on plastics
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #1: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Ways of seeing Atiyagi Maya
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • Take Me Home :: Poem
  • Money Lending business in Nagaland
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Jr Women Natl Boxing
  • Crime against nature deserve punishment
  • Khamba Thoibi Museum #1 : Gallery
  • Time- Is it an illusion? Certainly not
  • Can there really be peace without justice
  • Enrollment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Heavy traffic fines, Harekrishna krishna
  • Jenil Khuman : Heroes of India award
  • Cracking the whip on driving by minors
  • ST demand: Is this a consensus decision..
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • Leikoiba, Lanhim, Khangjenlu :: eMing
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 92 :: Poem
  • Missing person : Dongminlian at Tirupati
  • Google Earth for ground & aerial survey
  • Mary Kom 1st woman athlete for Vibhushan
  • Delivering a point maturely
  • There should be a toll free grievance cell
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #1: Gallery
  • Shrinking safe spaces
  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Demands: Flag for Naga & ST for Meitei
  • Proud of our scientists & ISRO
  • Daanveer Dutta Karna : 2nd best play
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Significance of Sept 11 to TSE
  • Climate Crisis, People, and the State
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #3: Gallery
  • Conundrum for Manipur govt over CAB
  • Violence against medical fraternity
  • Thongkhatabam Ankita : Governor's Award
  • The Enchantress :: Poem
  • Sunyata & Kenosis: Search of Ultimate Truth
  • Lim divide continues to run deep
  • Of nationalism, patriotism & against nature
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Students Day @B'lore : Gallery
  • Protective Thinking: Village Nationalist #1
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #3
  • Ungracious :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • IAS Officer: Hero- Whipping boy- Villain
  • Petition CM to revoke breach order in Edn-S
  • Stand against illegal immigrants
  • September and Hijam Irabot
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #3
  • Kakching WW II Memorial Run : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: Divide the state
  • Training Program for Remand Advocates
  • Hunt for North East designers & models
  • Kakching World War II Memorial Run: Report
  • Common Admission Test for IIMs
  • No school bags day for young students
  • GoI backtracking on Framework Agreement
  • Trekking to Dzukou #3 : Gallery
  • English as a Lingua Franca for NE
  • A Good Place to Spend the Night : Poem
  • The idea of Manipur
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 8th Convocation of Assam Don Bosco held
  • Yogurt based DIY packs to try
  • Big Bang Edge Test
  • Bhabananda was right; it was not only him ..
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3: Gallery
  • Judicial administration under Bhagyachandra
  • Reena Bhavsar(Pebam ningon): Mrs India
  • Sick Education System should be blamed ...
  • Foundation Day of Physics Dept, MU
  • 26th World Congress of Political Science
  • DBC, Maram bags SBSI National award
  • Regulate pay of Pvt school teachers
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #1 : eRang
  • The Endurers : a growing tribe
  • Swachh in Manipur
  • Khongoinaba & Kanglei Chanura Kanba
  • The ten in between :: Poem
  • Happy for no reason
  • Convocation: Assam Don Bosco University
  • Sounding the alert at the entry points:
  • Victims of greed
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #2: Gallery
  • Call for Papers : NACETER 2019 at Aizawl
  • Celebrating Teachers' Day 2019
  • Draft Bill on violence against healthcare
  • From the heart - Transcending fears
  • Her Richness :: Poem
  • Beauty benefits of mint
  • Return of the power struggle
  • 'We Dont, So Shouldnt You' of Mayangs
  • Licypriya: Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #2
  • Licypriya : World Children Peace Prize
  • Champions at 5th Intl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • International Geological Congress 2020
  • Manipur Tourism: Best cultural Award at TTF
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day
  • NDPP leaders called on Nagaland Governor
  • Condemns UP Govt for case against Journo
  • Looking to CBI to deliver: The trust deficit
  • Mockery of the legislation
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 2
  • No mee should disturb peace in Kuki Hills
  • Cry of a Dying River - 91 :: Poem
  • Human service demands need to save river
  • Aromatherapy as career option
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowship
  • Rejoinder to Yanthungo Patton
  • New traffic rules and regulations
  • Myopic leaders and misplaced priorities
  • Over 19 lakhs excluded in Assam NRC
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • FMGE -Foreign Medical Graduates Exam
  • Referendum in Catalonia
  • Allergen-specific blood test for allergies
  • Better investment climate: Challenge of Govt
  • AMWJU Identity Card
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #10
  • September Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Freshers Meet/Musical Night at Bangalore
  • Surgery over Healthcare
  • Discussion: Identity at India-Myanmar Border
  • A Euphoric Day Of Freedom :: Poem
  • Remembering the past famine...
  • Stalls- Hathei Phanit, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • AMSU & Naga Peace Talk
  • Hypocrisy of 'The Federation Of Haomee'
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #2
  • Enrolment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang: Gallery
  • The traffic maze
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #1
  • Chinglensana Kangujam : Arjuna Award
  • A Rainy Morning in Summer :: Poem
  • Apple Farmer Mayengbam Shyamchandra
  • The idea of a book club Imphal
  • Condemns act of locals in ICFAI Univ
  • Free medical camp at Ithai Barrage
  • Attacker on Childline must be arrested
  • Computer Courses at IP Infotech
  • Dead men or dead girls tell no tale
  • Going beyond people's expectations
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1: Gallery
  • Wainu Chara : An indigenous rice breed
  • The sugarcane crisis
  • Positive Teachers-Students relation
  • NDPP & BJP met with Bishop of Nagaland
  • Zero budget natural farming
  • Helmet drive with sweets at CCpur
  • Responsibility matters
  • Manipur Independence Day : Gallery
  • Manipur Heli Service : Gallery
  • Kariang nuna sip eh :: Poem
  • River Rights as legal person
  • Athokpam Right: Kalams Book of Record
  • Be Educated; Be Empowered 0.02 Edition
  • Separate flag and separate Constitution
  • Manipur on a high: Drug menace
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #2
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #1
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Climate variability in Phalee khul, Ukhrul
  • What vows does a catholic priest take ?
  • Leg Pain : What to do ?
  • Convention: Defense of Democratic Rights
  • Transit route to manufacturing unit
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #5 : Gallery
  • Meeting on Road project at Phalong
  • The road that halted us by earthfall
  • National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019
  • Strategies to adopt for IAS Exam
  • Discussion: Issues of Legal Services
  • Irregularities of Non-NET Fellowship in MU
  • Threatened democracy
  • Nagas await historic day: NSCN (I-M)
  • Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Dr Ak Priyokumar : Golden Achiever Award
  • Lai-Harouba @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai fest: Dance Drama : Gallery
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • Healthy & active lifestyle: A healthy Manipur
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #9
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Babysana: State bandh - Aug 9 #2: Gallery
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • SPONSORED ADS