Biren Singh defends arrest of journalist in Manipur, says cannot tolerate humiliation of 'national heroes' like Narendra Modi

Imphal (Manipur):Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Monday asserted that he cannot tolerate humiliation of national heroes like Rani of Jhansi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The chief minister's remarks came in the context of journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha who was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) in November for allegedly making derogatory comments against him.

Singh told ANI, "I can tolerate criticism but not the humiliation of my leaders; he was abusing as well as humiliating the national heroes like Rani of Jhansi and PM Modi. It is totally beyond freedom of expression."

File image of Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh. Image courtesy: PIB

File image of Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh. Image courtesy: PIB

Further substantiating his argument, Singh stated: "Justified or not, that will be the work of the court. It is a democratic country, we have the right to criticise, but we should not forget there are also some restrictions."

Wangkhemcha, who was working for a local news channel in the northeastern state, had reportedly uploaded several videos in November, calling Singh a puppet of Narendra Modi-led central government.

In his video clips, Wangkhemcha had apparently criticised the state government for observing Rani of Jhansi's birth anniversary and allegedly used derogatory words against the chief minister. He had filed the petition on 19 December challenging his detention.

On 14 December, the state government had reportedly ordered that Wangkhemcha should be kept under detention for a year. As per reports, the journalist was arrested on separate charges of sedition on 21 November.

On 25 November, a local court released him on bail. On 27 November, Wangkhemcha was detained under the NSA, which allows for detention of up to 12 months without trial, and has since been kept in a jail in Imphal.

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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2018 18:46:35 IST

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