Journalists in Manipur’s capital Imphal marched from the Press Club to Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s bungalow on Saturday, demanding the release of a journalist arrested for allegedly writing inflammatory posts on Facebook, Morung Express reported.
On August 9, the Manipur police arrested Kishorechandra Wangkhem, a television journalist in Imphal. Wangkhem is a sub-editor cum anchor at ISTV network, which is one of the two cable television networks in the state.
Wangkhem has been accused of writing social media posts with the intention of inciting public mischief. He has also been charged with criminal intimidation. According to the First Information Report, Wangkhem posted pictures with captions that were intended to “cause fear or alarm to sections of the public”. On August 10, the chief judicial magistrate of Imphal sent the journalist to 15-day police custody.
“They say he committed a cyber crime without even specifying the posts for which he has been arrested,” Ranjeeta Elangbam, Wangkhem’s wife, told Newslaundry.
Wangkhem’s colleagues from different media groups have condemned his arrest, calling it arbitrary, and demanded his immediate release. All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union President Brojendro Ningombam met Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday and tendered an apology on Wangkhem’s behalf, NorthEast Now reported. Singh reportedly assured Ningombam that the journalist would soon be released on bail.