India: 35 Manipuri students detained by Delhi police for protesting Kishorchandra’s NSA detention
January 7, 2019, 3:50 am

Delhi police detained 35 members of Manipur Students’ Association, Delhi (MSAD) and Delhi Association of Manipur Muslim Students (DAMMS) today while they were trying to take up a peaceful protest at Manipur Bhawan, Delhi against the slapping of National Security Act (NSA) on former ISTV staff, Kishorchandra Wangkhem.

The detained students includes president of MSAD, Veewon Thokchom, president of DAMMS, Md. Murshad, general secretary of DSU and others executive members of the two student bodies.

It is reported that the 35 students were detained at two different police stations; Tughlaq police station and Chanakyapuri police station. Later, 30 students were reported to have been shifted to Mandir Marg Police station from Chanakyapuri police station.

Keshorchandra was arrested on November 20 for posting a video recording in which he condemned the stance of chief minister, N. Biren regarding a function organised in regards to Rani of Jhansi being linked with the freedom movement of Manipur.

But the chief judicial magistrate released him on November 26 stating, “The words, terms and gesture used by the accused in the video cannot be termed as seditious. It is mere expression of opinion against the public conduct of public figure in a street language.”

The next day he was picked up from his residence by police and detained under NSA.

On December 14, the State government approved the detention order of former ISTV anchor under National Security Act (NSA), passed by the district magistrate, Imphal West and fixed the period of detention for a period of one year from the date of detention.

The concerned police officer of Mandir Marg police station, upon inquiry by media persons as to under what section the students were arrested, reported to have replied that he did not have the answer why the students were held.

The students put in police custody at Mandir Marg Police Station included president, MSAD, Veewon Thokchom, vice-president, Furken and general secretary of DSU.

Students put in custody at Tilak Marg Police station are those rounded up on the way to Manipur Bhawan from Race Course Metro station towards Manipur Bhawan, SO Marg.

It may be mentioned that this is the first time Delhi Police arrested students at a metro station far ahead of reaching the planned venue of protest. It has not been revealed at the time filing this report, as to why and under what charges the students have been arrested.