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Two Editors of a website arrested in Manipur, Charged with sedition

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Imphal, Jan 18: In a major development, two editors of a Manipur-based news portal—The Frontier Manipur, have been arrested and charged with sedition under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) over the publication of one article that criticised the state’s militancy movement, the arrest have taken place on Sunday.

Executive editor Paojel Chaoba and editor-in-chief Dhiren Sadokpam were arrested by the Manipur Police…. They have also been charged with serious charges like criminal conspiracy, causing alarm to induce offence against the state and supporting a terror organization.

On 8th January, the website has published an article headlined as Revolutionary journey in a mess” authored by M Joy Luwang,… the article criticises Manipur’s “armed revolutionary groups” for straying from the “revolutionary cause”.

Manipur police have confirmed the arrests adding that a suo moto FIR registered by the Manipur Police names Luwang and the editors as the accused.

“the author… endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed… dismay at the deteriorating character of the armed revolutionary leaders of Manipur in the recent decade. His article clearly expressed sympathy and support to the ideologies and activities of the armed revolutionary groups and outrightly called the rule of law of the Union and State government as colonial law… the author… endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed… dismay at the deteriorating character of the armed revolutionary leaders of Manipur in the recent decade” the Fir stated, a copy of it is available with Hub News.

This is not the first case of FIR against journalists. In 2018, TV news anchor In late 2018, Kishorchandra Wangkhem, was detained for four-and-a-half months under NSA for allegedly derogatory comments against the BJP government in the state and CM N Biren Singh. He is once again under arrest on a separate case.

In 2020, sedition charges were brought against Manipuri activist Erendro Leichombam over a Facebook post.

Also last year, Jawaharlal Nehru University research scholar Mohammad Chingiz Khan and Gauhati University assistant professor Mohammad Imtiyaj Khan were charged with sedition after a translation of their old opinion article on issues faced by Manipuri Muslims appeared in a local newspaper.

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