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Veewon was secretly produced in Saket Court – AUDFA

IT News

Imphal, Feb 17,

Veewon Thokchom, who was arrested on sedition charge from his rented room at Delhi was produced to Saket Court secretly in the morning before protestors and activists reached court premises. This was stated by a statement of Faculty Association of Ambedkar  University Delhi (AUDFA).

The AUDFA further stated that,  Until  10  pm  on  Saturday,  February  16,  2019,  there  was  no  confirmation  that  he  was given  access  to  any  lawyer  nor  have  we  received  any  details  on  what  he  has  been  charged  for.

SP of Imphal East in a press briefing stated that Veewon was arrested on grounds of making ‘anti-national’ statements on social media and was remanded to four-day custody at Saket PS.

Veewon Thokchom, who was a former student of Ambedkar University Delhi was arrested by a team of Delhi Police and Manipur Police from his rented house at Saket in the presence of his siblings on Friday evening, February 15, 2019. There was no warrant issued at the time of arrest and not a single reason provided thereafter. The manner in which he was taken to Janakpuri  Police  Station  has  led  to  concerned  lawyers  suspecting  that  he  could  have  been  charged for ‘sedition’,  based  on  his  Facebook  status  against  the  newly  drafted  Citizenship  Amendment  Bill (2016) and his active involvement in protests against the same. He had also actively participated in protests against the arrest of a Manipur journalist in November, 2018. The nature of his arrest once again  draws  attention  to  the  government’s  disgraceful  record  in  defending  freedom  of  speech  and expression.  His  Facebook  status  on  12th  February,  2019  revealed  that  police  has  been  harassing  his parents  and  family  members  by  raiding  his  house  in  Imphal  and  checking  his  room  in  his  absence.

AUDFA expressed strong condemnation to the arrest of Veewon and demanded that he be given access to lawyers so that his case can be defended under the purview of the law of the land through proper scrutiny of evidence placed against him. 

“As  faculty  and  researchers,  we  express  our  outrage  at  this  most  blatant  violation  of rights to dissent enshrined in the Constitution. It would be no exaggeration to see this act as a blow to India’s claim as a democracy and the increasing hold of right-wing paranoia that has gripped the nation-state. AUDFA welcomes all concerned forums, rights bodies, individuals and the international community to come together and defend Veewon’s democratic rights” , AUDFA said.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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