Arrest and detention of Sotinkumar
Humans rights bodies write to UN
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 12: Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights in Manipur and UN (CSCHR), Human Rights Alert (HRA), Human Rights Defenders Manipur (HRDM), Committee on Human Rights (COHR), Manipur, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRAM), Reachout, Just Peace Foundation (JPF), Extrajudicial Execution Victims Family Association, Manipur (EEVFAM) and All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMANA) have written an appeal to the United Nations, drawing attention to the alleged arbitrary arrest, detention and mental torture inflicted upon Laishram Sotinkumar for leading a ‘democratic protest’ against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.
The associations reminded that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN, has already condemned CAA as a discriminatory Act and explained that CAA is vehemently opposed by various sections of the society including the Left Parties of India.
It alleged that being the State secretary of the biggest Left party in Manipur, Laishram Sotinkumar has been constantly targeted by the ruling right wing Government.
Left parties called an all India general strike on December 19, 2019 against CAA and in this connection, CPI Manipur State Council and other Left parties of Manipur, including Sotinkumar held a joint press briefing at CPI office at Irawat Bhavan, calling for support and cooperation from the public. The strike went off peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident.
However the next afternoon, on December 20, Sotinkumar was picked up by a team of City Police without giving any valid reason or issuing any arrest memo as required by law and various sections of the IPC were filed against him. On December 21, the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Imphal West granted him bail. However, a police team again picked him up just outside the Court complex and he was whisked away to Nambol PS and various other sections of the IPC were added against him.
Noting that rearrest of a person on the same transaction/incident is illegal and unconstitutional as per a ruling of Supreme Court (1983), the associations claimed that the illegal rearrest and detention in inhumane condition of an ailing senior political activist for leading a peaceful, democratic protest against a discriminatory law is clearly harassment of a human rights defender for his effort to defend the human rights of others.
As such, they appealed the UN Human Rights Council to take up the matter and issue an appropriate urgent appeal to the Government of India to release Laishram Sotinkumar immediately without any condition.