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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Another Manipur editor arrested, charged under multiple IPC sections, Official Secrets Acts

Dhanabir Maibam, editor of the Hueiyen Lanpao, was arrested for a report on the law-and-order situation in the border town of Moreh in Tengnoupal. Kuki-Zo-majority Moreh borders Myanmar

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 07.01.24, 06:47 AM
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Manipur police have arrested the editor of a vernacular newspaper on charges of promoting enmity between groups and criminal conspiracy, the second arrest of a senior journalist in the strife-torn state in eight days.

Dhanabir Maibam, editor of the Hueiyen Lanpao, was picked up by Imphal West police on Friday morning and subsequently arrested under multiple IPC sections and the Official Secrets Acts.

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The sections include 153A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion/ race), 505(1)(b) (act inducing/ likely to induce any person to commit offence against State or against public tranquillity) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

Efforts to contact the police proved futile but reports from Imphal said Maibam, in his mid-50s, was arrested for a report on the law-and-order situation in the border town of Moreh in Tengnoupal. Kuki-Zo-majority Moreh borders Myanmar.

Maibam, known for speaking his mind, has been remanded in three days’ police custody. In protest, the newspaper kept its editorial page blank on Saturday.

Established in 1978, the Hueiyen Lanpao Group of Publications is one of the oldest media houses not just in Manipur but in the Northeast, its official website said.

State Congress president Keisham Meghachandra was among those who condemned the arrest.

In a late-night post on X, he said: “I strongly condemn the arrest of Editor Dhanabir Maibam of Huieyen Lanpao by Manipur BJP govt. I demand for his immediate and unconditional release. There is no freedom of speech for journalists in Manipur. This is a repeated action of police to harass journalists and media persons.”

Maibam’s arrest comes just a week after the arrest of another veteran journalist, Wangkhemcha Shyamjai, editor of a daily eveninger and former president of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU).

Shyamjai was arrested on December 29 in a suo motu case registered by the Imphal police for allegedly “publishing instigating and unverified news items” amid the unrest. A local court had remanded him in three days’ police custody but he got bail on December 31.

On Saturday, chief minister N. Biren Singh, addressing an official event at Moirang College in Bishnupur district, said the government had been making “all possible efforts for the betterment of the people” affected by the ongoing conflict and “sought the support” and cooperation of the public for restoration of peace in the state.

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