The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Imphal West remanded human rights activist Dr. Mark Thangmang Haokip in police custody till June 6 following his arrest for alleged involvement in a conspiracy for secession from India and to wage or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war against the Government of India.
The prosecution submitted that the accused during his preliminary interrogation has confessed that he is a self-style President of the outfit called the “Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland” along with other members. Moreover, it is also established that the website by the domain namely, www.kukigovt.com is owned by the present accused with the purpose to propagate their ideas of independent Kuki Nation.
A copy of press release dated 22/16 2019 signed by the accused and 3 other members in their letter head i.e. “Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland” was seized and the said Press Release has clearly stated that: “Neighboring countries must respect the Sovereign Rights of the Kukis thereby implying that there exist the Sovereign Kukiland”. The prosecution further submitted that the accused in his statement has admitted that he has raised monetary funds to finance his organisation by openly uploading the account number in the said website.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the accused submitted that whatever the accused have uploaded in the website or social media was directly or indirectly copied from one writer namely, Brigadier Sushil Kumar Sharma because of which the accused is already regretted. The counsel further stated that there is no incriminating articles seized to substantiate the claim that the accused is trying to wage war against India, that the accused is a Human Rights Activist well settled at Delhi and he has no criminal antecedent and whatever the accused has written or posted in the social media are well within the rights of Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India.
The counsel also argued that that the Section the accused is charged with U/S 17/18 U.A(P) Act is not made out as the accused is not a terrorist. The counsel for the accused also expressed his discontentment that so many people from other communities have been using the same platform in Twitter and Facebook to spew communal hatred but none of them were arrested and the present accused has been targeted alone in connection with the publication of his thoughts in the social media.
After a series of submission from both the parties, the court remanded Dr. Mark Thangmang Haokip for a period of 5 days. “Some of the allegations made against the accused seems to be of serious nature and the seized articles including the extract from the alleged website i.e www.kukigovt.com seems to be quite an incriminating. Thus, in the interest of fair justice, I am inclined to remand the accused person for a period of 5 (five) days i.e till 04/06/2022 for smooth investigation. The remand objection prayer along with bail application filed on behalf of the accused is rejected as immature.,” the court announced.
The court also prohibits the IO to take accused to the JIC, Kangla for interrogation but to conduct interrogation within the premises of their police station. The court further orders to produce the accused before the Court on June 4.
Also read: Bail granted to Dr Mark Thangkhomang Haokip