A suo-mottu case was registered against Editor and reporters of Hueiyen Lanpao for publishing an official letter of an officer in-charge of a Special Commando Unit to the Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) requesting the requisition of additional ammunition
In yet another coercive action against journalists in Manipur, Dhanbir Maibam, editor of the Hueiyen Lanpao, one of the prominent vernacular dailies in Manipur, was arrested on Friday night. An Imphal court sent him to three-day police custody till January 7. He was booked under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups)/ 505(1)(8) (publishing report containing rumour or alarming news)/ 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred)/ 120-B(criminal conspiracy) and various sections of Official Secrets act 1923.
He Is the second editor arrested in the last eight days. Manipur police had arrested Wangkhemcha Shyamjai, who is also the Chief Editor of Kangleipaki Meira, last Friday on the charge of publishing a false report without allowing him to explain himself. He was released on bail on January 31 after three-day police custody.
A suo-mottu case was registered against him and reporters of Hueiyen Lanpao for publishing an official letter of an officer in-charge of a Special Commando Unit to the Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) requesting the requisition of additional ammunition.
The news report published on the front page of “Huiyen Lanpao” (Manipuri Edition) dated, January 4, 2024 further discloses all the secret details of the requisition made including the different numbers of ammunition required for,
Inspector K Abhijeet Singh OC,Imphal PS noted in his complaint that “for the last few days, state force has been attacked by militants at border town Moreh, Tengnoupal District and there has been continuous gunfight going on at the border town which is just bordering Myanmar”. In the attack by the militants, some state force personnel and central force personnel also sustained serious injuries and were evacuated to Imphal for further medical treatments, he added.
The complainant further said, “Publishing such secret information by receiving the secrets voluntarily at this critical time and communicating all the details to the militants who may have also based in Myanmar and other countries directly compromise the security and sovereignty of the state.”
He maintained that the information is directly useful to the enemy of the state and it is likely to affect the internal security of the state. Moreover, publishing such sensitive news in newspaper and digital media also provokes enmity between different groups and prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different ethnic groups residing in the state and is likely to disturb the public tranquillity.
“Circulating the said news item also alarms the public with the intent to create feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different communities. Such news item may also induce any section of public to commit an offence against the state or against the public tranquillity,” said the complainant.
“As such, the editor of Huiyen-Lanpao namely Malbam Dhanabir Meitei in collusion with his reporters have unethically collected/obtained the secret information and intentionally published in their local newspaper which is prejudicial to the safety or interest of the state without any ethics of. Journalism,” he said.
It may be noted The Frontier Manipur’s Editor-in-Chief Dhiren Sadokpam and Executive Editor Paojel Chaoba were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and IPC Section 124A (sedition).