Manipuri Student Who Led Protests Against Citizenship Bill in Delhi Arrested

Thokchom Veewon had also protested the arrest of journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem under the National Security Act.

New Delhi: A four-member joint team of the Delhi police and Manipur police picked up a student leader from Manipur from his rented accommodation in south Delhi on February 15 evening without citing any reasons.

Thokchom Veewon, formerly the president of the Manipur Students’ Union of Delhi (MSAD) and now an advisor for the outfit, has been at the forefront of protests organised in Delhi against the state government’s decision to arrest journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem under the National Security Act (NSA) in November and the Central government’s attempt to turn the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill into an Act.

Veewon’s brother Venus Thokchom told The Wire that a police team reached Veewon’s house in Saket around 5:20 pm, “beat him up, didn’t give him a chance even to wear his slippers and took him away without informing why and where”.

He said, “My younger sister was present in the house. I stay a few houses away. She immediately informed the family.”

On getting to know about the incident, Veewon’s father in Imphal rushed to the local police station where he was told, “Veewon has been picked up for a cyber crime and would be brought to Imphal in a day or two.”

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An hour later, Veewon was traced by family and friends at the special branch office of the Delhi police at Janakpuri. Venus, waiting at the police station with MSAD members for more information about the reasons behind the arrest, said, “Police is telling us that he has already been charged under Section 124A (sedition) but we are yet to get a confirmation of it officially. We are waiting for our lawyer.”

Two days ago, in a Facebook post, Veewon said that a police team comprising personnel from both Imphal West and East districts arrived at his house in Lamlaimayai Leikai of Imphal around 6 pm, “threatened” his parents, “searched” his room, “took pictures” of his parents and told them to ask him to concentrate only on his education.

“This is just wow. Let’s see how long you can keep on going with this,” he added.

Veewon later told Imphal Free Press, “The only reason I can think of (why police visited his family) is the circulation of the photos of protest in the state during the curfew (on February 13 to curb public protest against the Bill) through a social media platform.”

The state administration had clamped Section 144 on the city besides putting a ban on internet services, keeping the protests in mind.