Manipur: Govt using NSA to silence citizens, says activist released after SC order – India Today

Posted: July 21, 2021 at 12:55 am

Manipuri political activist Erendro Leichombam has accused the N Biren Singh government led by the BJP of trying to silence dissenting voices in the state by using the provisions of the National Security Act (NSA), 1980.

Leichombam, 40, was released on Monday following a Supreme Court order. He had been detained under the NSA over a Facebbok post in May this year. The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud ordered his release before 5 pm on Monday.

After his release, Leichombam said, It is a sort of redemption. Two months of arbitrary imprisonment, that too, based on a law that was used by the British to put freedom fighters (behind bars) during the colonial era...something that has been used by the current administration in Manipur is very unfortunate.

Hitting out at the BJP-run state government, Leichombam said, Basically, anybody, any one of us can be arrested anytime if whatever we are speaking is against the current administrations liking...this is a concerted attempt to silence the citizens.

What I write on Facebook is an expression of how people are feeling...that's why people are sharing it, liking it...that is a fact the current administration cannot digest. That is why they used this draconian act to put me behind bars, he said terming the police action as an act of political terrorism.

Commenting on the death of Manipur BJP chief S Tikendra Singh due to Covid-19 earlier this year, Leichombam had put out a post on social media stating cow dung and cow urine were not cure for Corona. State BJP leaders had lodged complaint against him terming his post as offensive.

Following his detention, the activists father had moved the Supreme Court. Overruling a governments request to adjourn the hearing on Monday, the Supreme Court said the activists continued detention amounted to violation of right to life and personal liberty.

Leichombam, who along with Irom Sharmila floated the Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA), a new political outfit in 2016 said, I believe people of Manipur will take this into consideration when Manipur goes to polls next year.

(With Jit Nigomba in Imphal)

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