Manipur government says no ground for compensation to Erendro, calls him habitual offender

By FrontierManipur | Published On 16th Aug, 2021, 10:49 GMT+0530

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Erendro Leichombam

The Supreme Court will hear L Raghumani Singh’s plea seeking compensation for illegal detention of his son Erendro under the NSA on August 23

TFM Desk

The Manipur Government has justified detention of the political activist Leichombam Erendro under the stringent National Security Act saying that the detention order was passed taking into account the situation that was prevailing at the time when the post/statement was made on Facebook by him. It was a decision taken in good faith without any mala fide intention and was not illegal or arbitrary, it asserted.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the government asserted that no ground for compensation is made out as it is not established that Erendro was subjected to any kind of custodial violence during the detention. Besides Erendro is a habitual offender, who commits offences that intend to disturb public tranquility, it added.

The affidavit was filed in connection with L. Raghumani Singh plea seeking compensation for illegal detention of his son Erendro under the NSA for a Facebook post on inefficacy of cow dung and urine in Covid treatment after state BJP president Prof Tikendra Singh succumbed to Covid-19.

The Supreme Court will hear the matter on August 23.

The affidavit signed by District Magistrate, Imphal West District submitted that Erendro’s actions have potential to incite hatred and chaos against any class or community or person. He has also previously engaged himself in posting hatred comments/statuses against Indian and Government duly established by law on social media on many occasions. The incident which has been highlighted is not a stray incident, however it is a motivated act with an intention to disturb public tranquility

Erendro’s posts/statements on social media at such time when the state was going through a Covid 19 crisis are politically motivated and the statements brings or attempts to bring hatred or contempt or incite hatred or chaos thereby willfully insulting or outraging the feelings and sentiments.

Following a complaint against Erendro’s post, an FIR was registered against him. During the course of the investigation, five statements of affected persons were recorded who confirmed the fear of the state that Erendro’s post/statement had indeed caused hatred amongst the people. Some persons were so enraged they had even though of taking the law into their own hands, however some of the leaders pacified them and a law and order situation was prevented.

The BJP government submitted list of cases lodged against Erendro since 2018 to accuse him of habitual offender.  “There are four pending FIRs registered against the detenue for the offences he has committed,” it said.

Further the government said the Petitioner has made no grounds for compensation in the pleadings, except for his prayer and his Petition was strictly limited to only quashing of the impugned May 17 order of detention and impugned grounds of May 19 detention.

Describing Erendro as an influential young social activist with thousands of followers and was more of a celebrity in the state, the government said with that kind of influence that he is likely to have upon the young minds of the State he ought to have acted cautiously and responsibly.

It asserted that the arrest of Erendro was very essential at that point of time in order to prevent him from indulging in posting further hatred or insulting comments on social media and abusing his position as a political activist.

“The timing and the circumstances under which his post/statement on Facebook was made on 13.05.2021 was in utter disregard of the sentiments of certain section of the people. In short, his statement was disrespectful, insulting, provoking and has potential to incite hatred and chaos thereby disturbing the public tranquility and was in no way an attempt to quell misinformation regarding treatments for Covid-19 for the benefit of the public as was stated in the instant Writ Petition,” it added, seeking dismissal of the petition as infructuous.

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