Manipur journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem writes from Sajiwa prison

I strongly denounce invoking sedition charge on such a matter in which I did not do or speak anything against the state or the Union. Nor was I trying to create enmity between groups or communities or incite hatred or communal tension.

Kishorchandra Wangkhem wrote this letter on December 2, 2020 to editors of news media houses about his unjust incarceration at Sajiwa Central Jail. He was arrested on September 29, 2020 on charges of sedition and promoting enmity between different communities on racial grounds.

The handwritten letter is preproduced here:

Sir

I am writing this letter for your kind perusal and I request you to cover/publish my strong condemnation against my incarceration by the government of Manipur under sedition charge and others at Sajiwa Central Jail. Following few lines will shed lights on what had happened that led the authority to wrongly detain me for two months now.

As a person who is against any form of discrimination, on September 3, I had posted a Facebook status in which I raised question on racial and communal remark made by an illegal wife on elected representative (now a minister) on social media (Instagram). The remark was against the first wife who is from a tribal community and who happens to be an acquaintance of mine. I quoted the remark to satirically raise the question and expose the racist slur as a solidarity and support for the tribal woman out of sympathy.

Also read: Amid Arnab Goswami’s Arrest, Manipuri Journalist Jailed over 1 Month Comes to Limelight

But unfortunately and purely because of the language barrier, Maram Women’s Union, (MWU) misinterpreted my statement and mistook me. Also probably because of lack of knowledge of the preceding racial attack on their own daughter (the first wife), the union instead alleged me of being racist and communal. The MWU lodged an FIR against me at Senapati PS.

Rather than trying to solve the misunderstanding amicably, the authority swiftly swung into action and booked under 124A, 153A, 505 of IPC and 3(1)(r)SC&ST POA Act 1989.

I strongly denounce invoking sedition charge on such a matter in which I did not do or speak anything against the state or the Union. Nor was I trying to create enmity between groups or communities or incite hatred or communal tension. My statement/question on social media was not even an attack on tribal community. It was simply an attempt to expose racism and make the community in question aware of the racial and communal attack on the community.

Signed-

KISHORCHANDRA WANGKHEMCHA

SAJIWA CENTRAL JAIL

MANIPUR

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