The All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) has stated that the detention of journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem under NSA for his criticism against the birth anniversary celebrations of Rani Lakhsmibai of Jhansi organized by the government of Manipur, is an ‘erroneous move’.
A release issued by the students’ body said that AMSU which had always ‘battled’ for the welfare and rights of the people of the State also stands in solidarity with Kishorchandra.
The release also warned that if detention of Kishorchandra under NSA is not revoked immediately, then the union will consider that State Government is ‘unnecessarily inviting agitations’ against the attempt to misconstrue the history of Manipur, and for justice and freedom of right to expression.
The Union does not consider the arrest of Kishorchandra as not an attempt to muzzle the voice of a single individual but as an affront to ‘Freedom of Expression’, it said while adding that considering that the ‘Right to Life’ has already been robbed from the people of Manipur under AFSPA, the action of the government directed against the right of freedom of expression is wrong move, it also said.
While stating that AMSU does not condone the use of expletives by Kishorchandra in his criticism of Chief Minister, N Biren Singh who allegedly tried to misconstrue history by professedly associated Manipur as a part of India before its merger into the Indian Union in 1949, the release also stated that the usage of ‘swear words or invectives’ do not necessarily mean that what Kishorchandra said was not true.
The allegation that his statement was a move to incite revolts against the country is not acceptable, it added.
The release also stated that most of the leading newspapers of the country in their editorial columns have now been demanding Kishorchandra’s immediate release, and it is not only regional TV channels but even famed international TV channels and digital media houses such as BBC who had been calling for his release in the interest of justice and freedom of expression.