Two Manipur journalists arrested within a week for ‘promoting enmity’ after reports on violence

The latest arrest came days after the journalist’s report on the deteriorating law and order situation in Moreh.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
Illustration of a journalist against barbed wires with a map depicting Manipur
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In the second such arrest this week, Meitei language newspaper Hueiyen Lanpao’s editor Dhanabir Maibam has been held by the Manipur police for promoting enmity on the ground of religion and race, The Times of India reported. 

Maibam has been booked under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 505 (publishing report containing rumour or alarming news), 120 (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and sections of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

The journalist’s arrest came on Friday, days after the newspaper published a report on the “deteriorating” law and order in Moreh – a Kuki-dominated small town in Tengnoupal district on Manipur’s border with Myanmar – which has been the site of escalated violence since October 31. 

Over the past week, at least 11 Manipur police commandos and a BSF soldier have been injured in three separate gunfights in Moreh.

Another editor of a local newspaper Kangleipakki Meira Wangkhemcha Shyamjai was arrested on December 29 over an article that had “questioned whether Kuki militants in the state had the support of the BJP”, as per a Scroll report. Shyamjai was also held under charges of “promoting enmity between communities”.

The ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities has continued in the northeastern state for over eight months, killing hundreds of people and displacing thousands. 

Newslaundry has covered the  full-blown anatomy of how hate engulfed an entire state. Meanwhile, this reporter’s account encapsulates the anguish and rage witnessed on the ground in the state where the violence continues to haunt people.  

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