Manipur journo, detained under NSA for Facebook post, released after court order
Manipur journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem, popularly known as Wangkhemcha Wangthoi who was detained under the National Security Act (NSA) for a Facebook post has been released on Friday following a high court order.
Following a petition moved by the journalist's wife Elangbam Ranjita, a division bench of the court headed by Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar and Justice KH Nobin Singh passed the order to release Wangkhem by 5 pm on Friday, upon his submission of a PR bond of Rs 1 thousand.
The Court heard M Gunedhor, Counsel appearing for petitioner and M Athouba Khaidem Additional Public Prosecutor for the respondent.
During the hearing, the Court observed that the cases of Leichombam and Wangkhem were similar, as both of them had put up similar Facebook posts, sardonically stating that cow dung and cow urine are not medicines for treating coronavirus. Also, both were subjected to similar detention under the provisions of the National Security Act.
"As they stand identically situated, we are of the opinion that the continued incarceration of the petitioner's husband would be as much a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution, as it was in the case of Erendro Leichombam," the Court observed in its 3-page order.
Meanwhile, the court has also suspended the operation of the order dated May 17 passed by the Government of Manipur against Wangkhemcha Wangthoi under section 3 (2) of the National Security Act 1980 until the next date of hearing on August 24.
(Edited by Aparmita Das)
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