The Manipur Police have booked The Frontier Manipur executive editor Paojel Chaoba and editor-in-chief Dhiren Sadokpam under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), over an article criticising the state's militancy movement and the Union government.
Both of them have been accused of "supporting a terrorist organisation" and booked for sedition and criminal conspiracy. Chaoba has been arrested while editor Dhiren Sadokpam is still being interrogated reported ThePrint.
The article titled 'Revolutionary Journey In A Mess' by M Joy Luwang was published on January 8. According to a Scroll report, the article is a 'critical indictment of the state's various armed groups, who have waged an armed secessionist movement since the 1960s'.
The author has accused the groups of being puppets to the Indian government and not living up to their 'revolutionary' ideals. The article talked about the revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed concern over the armed revolutionary leaders' deteriorating character. It also called the rule of law of the Union and State government as colonial law.
"The author endorsed revolutionary ideologies and activities and expressed dismay at the deteriorating character of the armed revolutionary leaders of Manipur in the recent decade," the police complaint copy as stated by NDTV.
Cases Against Journalists, Activists
Various cases against journalists and activists have been reported from the state. A Manipuri activist Erendro Leichombam was recently charged with sedition over a Facebook post.
Last year, Jawaharlal Nehru University research scholar Mohammad Chingiz Khan and Gauhati University assistant professor Mohammad Imtiyaj Khan were booked for sedition, after a local newspaper published a translation of their old opinion article on Manipuri Muslims' issues.
In 2018, TV news anchor Kishorchandra Wangkhem was arrested and jailed for months under the National Security Act, for allegedly making derogatory comments against the state government and Chief Minister N Biren Singh. The High Court later quashed the charges, and he was released in April 2019.
He was again held on a sedition charge, this time for responding to a viral social media post of a wife of a high profile BJP politician of the state.