Arrest, release and re-arrest of young man Explaining the silence

Unidentified predators stalking domestic livestocks. This has been hogging prime space in all the dailies published from Imphal not to talk about the commentaries passed in the daily newspapers. Not surprising for this is one of the rare incidents to have hit the State in recent memory. Another rare incident but which has not been occupying prime space and commentaries, at least in The Sangai Express, is the arrest and release by the Court and again arrest of a former employee of local TV network ISTV, Kishorchandra Wangkhem. An Imphal based English newspaper has already stated its stand on the re-arrest of the former employee of ISTV with the Editor of ISTV (who also happens to the president of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union) even going ahead and taking the trouble to state the stand of AMWJU to explain the silence. More than likely that the open stand of the Editor was made following the numerous posers raised in the social media. The Sangai Express will refrain from taking a stand on the matter, but the statement issued by the Editor of ISTV and which was published in the newspaper which has made its stand clear on the matter should throw some light on the issue. It should however be more than clear that it was in his personal capacity that Kishorchandra Wangkhem uploaded his video on Facebook and not on any platform connected with his job as a journalist. This however should not mean that newspapers in Imphal should refrain from taking a stand on the matter on the ground that Kishorchandra is today no longer with a news organisation.
Ideally newspapers should take stands on issues which directly concern the people and the State of Manipur. The question of whether the arrest, release and again arrest of Kishorchandra concerns the interests of the people of Manipur or not is best left to the people to decide and perhaps it will be interesting to see how the social media activists will behave when Lok Sabha elections come next year. Or shouldn’t the present issue be a concern, when election time comes for them ? Let is be also clear that the possibility of some political parties trying to milk the present scenario cannot be ruled out. Again this is a matter that is best left to the people to decide. What however should not be forgotten is the fact that the Court had not found anything that was anti-National in the outburst of Kishorchandra. And ironic it is that one day after he was released by the Court, Kishorchandra was booked under the National Security Act. And it is on this point that Congress MLA Kh Joykisan has gone on record to challenge any of the BJP leaders (read BJP MLAs) to an open debate. On the other hand, it is also right that the Editors’ Guild, Manipur too seriously mulls over the barrage of criticisms that have come over the silence maintained by the media in Manipur over the issue. Is an explanation warranted here ?

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