freedom of expression
Representative image. Courtesy: NewsClick

Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) on Monday has thrown its weight behind detained former Manipur staff of ISTV, Kishorchandra Wangkhem under National Security Act (NSA), stating that it is total violation of freedom of expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.

The scribes’ body also said it was a blatant misuse of NSA by the authorities.

The union demanded the Manipur Government to immediately revoke the detention order under NSA and ensure the ‘unconditional release of Kishorchandra as his liberty would not in any way be detrimental to the security of the State and to the maintenance of public order’.

In a press statement issued by the secretary of IJU, N Narender Reddy, it was stated that the union strongly condemned the State Government for grossly misusing the ‘draconian National Security Act to silence criticism’.

‘IJU will not tolerate the act of state authorities of setting a wrong precedent and sending a terse message across all that dissent,’ it added.

In another statement, IJU president, Amar Devulapalli and Press Council of India (PCI) member, Amar Devulapalli and its secretary general, Sabina Inderjit had asserted that the detention of Kishorchandra must be ‘seen as an attack on the freedom of expression and most undemocratic’.

‘The detention is more objectionable as he was set free by the chief judicial magistrate a few days earlier quashing charge of sedition slapped on him by stating that the accused person transgressed beyond decent human conduct but it cannot be termed seditious,’ added the statement.

However, contrary to the stand taken by IJU and PCI, president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), Brozendra Ningomba has reiterated that the union will not support Kishorchandra as he acted in ‘utter disregard’ of AMWJU’s resolutions adopted at its Standing Committee meeting held in August last.

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