Student bodies demand immediate release of MSAD leader


Pothashang News Service: Imphal, February 16, 2019: Student organisations demanded immediate and unconditional release of Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD) advisor Thokchom Veewon who was arrested by a joint team of Delhi Police and Manipur on Friday evening from his rental home at Saket in South Delhi.

The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) which comprises of the Khasi Students Union (KSU), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU) and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), condemned the arrest of the advisor and former president of Manipur Students’ Association Delhi. Veewon has been arrested during a joint operat ion by NESO in a press statement said Veewon was picked up on sedition charges. He has been vocal against Manipur journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem’s arrest under NSA and the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and had led protests in Delhi. Veewon was arrested without providing any reason and arrest
warrant. It’s very undemocratic the way in which the police physically assaulted him, beat him, slapped him, dragged him and didn’t even allowed him to wear slippers while picking him up from his residence. They also robbed him of his laptop and mobile phone, NESO added.

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Earlier there was a report that he was searched by Manipur police on few days back at his home in Manipur and threatened his family not to make hime engaged in the agitations. He is currently kept at Janakpuri Police Station, is likely to be taken to Manipur. It has also been speculated that the “cyber crime” is behind the MSAD advisor’s arrest. Two days ago, in a Facebook post, Veewon said a police team comprising personnel from both Imphal West and East districts arrived at his house in Lamlaimayai Leikai of Imphal around 6 pm, threatened his parents, “searched” his room, took pictures” of his parents and told them to ask him to
concentrate only on his education.

NESO stands in solidarity with him and demanded the Govt. to stop gagging the dissent voices of students. The fascist like nature of the BJP govt with its autocratic nature will not be tolerated as it is a big threat to democracy. We demand his immediate unconditional release otherwise NESO will not remain silent on the issue, the release said.

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President of All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Manjit Sarangthem during a joint press conference of six student bodies AMSU, Manipur Students’ Federation (MSF), Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), Students’ Union of Kangleipak (SUK) and Apunba Irreipakki Maheirosing Singpanglup (AIMS).

Manjit said the arrest of Veewon shows that the present government has suppressed the voice of people by violating freedom of speech and expression which is a constitutional right of every citizen.

Government must not inject fear psychosis towards public in order to hide their dark deeds. The act has to be done during the period of feudalism, he added.

The six student bodies demand immediate unconditional release of Veewon. If the government failed to release him immediately six student bodies will initiate agitation, Manjit cautioned.

Superintendent of Police Imphal East district, K. Meghchandra told reporters that Veewon has been charged with sedition among others.

He has been given transit remand to Manipur police for four days by Saket court. The police are awaiting permission to take him to Imphal, the officer added.

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He said the district police lodged an FIR  against the student leader on February 12. The FIR was lodged following a formal complaint received from the Superintendent of Police CID (Crime Branch) intimating to take necessary action against Veewon, based on a report submitted by the cyber crime police station Manipur, he said.

The district police conducted a raid at his Lamlai residence to arrest Veewon. However, he was not there, Meghachandra said.

On February 14, a team of Imphal East police reached Delhi and yesterday evening a joint team of the district and Delhi Police, raided the rental home of Veewon.

The officer revealed that the police team established that deliberate planning was made by Veewon and his associates to spread hatred, incites violence during the height of the agitation against Citizenship Amendment Bill in Manipur.

Veewon has also mentioned in one of his post that right to self-determination was the only solution if the Citizenship Bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, Meghachandra said.


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