Congress President Rahul Gandhi has condemned the detention of Manipur journalist Kishore Chandra Wangkhem under the National Security Act. In a letter to Wangkhem, Gandhi claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state had tried to “trample on the Constitutional rights of the people of Manipur” over the last few months.
Wangkhem was arrested on sedition charges on November 21 for posting a Facebook video critical of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was booked under the National Security Act on November 27, and on December 13, a board set up to decide on such detentions approved a 12-month jail term for him. On December 20, Wangkhem moved the High Court against his detention.
“It is unfortunate that regressive forces continue to unleash violence with impunity, while those who seek accountability from the state are being jailed,” Gandhi wrote. “Fascist forces have not only attempted to destroy the idea of India but attack anyone who challenges their distorted narrative.” The Congress president said the party will extend support “in any possible manner” to the jailed journalist.
Wangkhem’s wife Elangbam Ranjita said Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee President TN Haokip handed her the letter on Friday, the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday. “I want to thank Rahul Gandhi that he wrote this letter and stood up against this injustice,” she said. “It was unexpected. It’s not about a political party but he took a stand on humanitarian grounds. How can anyone slap NSA for merely expressing one’s views?”