Dhiren Sadokpam and Paojel Chaoba of the news website Frontier Manipur have been booked for sedition and criminal conspiracy for carrying a January 8 article on the state’s insurgent groups, Scroll .
Sadokpam, the website’s editor-in-chief, and Chaoba, its executive editor, have been accused by the Manipur police of “supporting a terrorist organisation” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. M Joy Luwang, who wrote the article headlined “”, has also been booked for the same alleged offences.
According to Scroll, Luwang’s article is an indictment of Manipur’s many armed groups that have waged secessionist campaigns since the 1960s. Luwang accuses these armed groups of “falling prey to the Indian government’s design of breaking their backbones” and not living up to the “revolutionary” ideals they were formed with.
In the FIR filed against Luwang on Sunday, the police claim that he “openly endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed shock at the deteriorating character of the armed revolutionaries of Manipur in the last decade”. Luwang is also accused of urging the people of the Northeastern state to become “true revolutionaries” and preaching how they should behave.
“His article clearly expressed sympathy and support to the ideologies and activities of the armed revolutionary groups and outrightly called the rule of law of the Union government and Centre as colonial law,” the FIR claims, according to Scroll.
Sadokpam told Scroll the police landed up at Chaoba’s home early in the morning and demanded that he go with them to the police station. “But he refused saying he would go on his own,” Scroll quoted Dhiren as saying.
At the station, as per his lawyer, Chaoba was detained, and he remains in police custody.
Speaking to Scroll about the article, Sadokpam said, “We received the piece on email and we decided to publish it as it was a balanced analytical article. If anything it was critical of the armed movement. As a website, we publish critical views of both the government and the armed groups.”