Manipur Journalist, Activist Now Booked Under NSA for Posts on BJP Leader's Death

The draconian NSA was invoked against Kishorchandra Wangkhem and Erendro Leichombam after they received bail.

New Delhi: The Manipur Police have now invoked the draconian National Security Act (NSA) against journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem and activist Erendro Leichombam, who were arrested for saying that cow dung and cow urine were no cure for COVID-19 in social media posts that condoled the death of the state’s BJP chief S. Tikendra Singh, who died of the viral infection last week.

The duo was arrested on Thursday after they took to Facebook to extend their condolences, while also writing in two posts that cow dung and cow urine were no cure for COVID-19.

BJP state vice-president Usham Deban Singh and general secretary P. Premananda Meetei filed a complaint against Wangkhem and Leichombam, and the police picked them up from their residences shortly after. They were granted bail on Monday, but the government subsequently invoked the NSA.

Th. Kirankumar, the district magistrate of Imphal West, said in his order that the two might “resume activities which are prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of public order on being released on bail”.

Wankhem, associated with the ‘Frontline Manipur’ news portal, had previously been arrested on two occasions for his criticism of the BJP. A previous NSA order against him was quashed by the high court. He also became the first person to be targeted under the Centre’s new IT rules, but the notice against him was later withdrawn.

Erendro is the convenor of the political outfit Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA).

(With PTI inputs)