Imphal, Feb 3:
The Youth of Manipur (YOM) express concern, alleging foul play in the arrest of one of its members, Laishram Bidyananda, also known as Kangleipak Hulk on social media. Manipur Police took Bidyananda into custody in connection with a viral voice note that gained traction on social media platforms.
Laishram Manichandra, a member of YOM, addressed the media at Manipur Press Club along with Bidyananda’s mother and other YOM members. According to Manichandra, Manipur Police charged Bidyananda with various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in relation to the viral voice note, which was not his. This voice note, Manichandra said, originated from a Facebook page named “Kanglei Mapari,” where someone allegedly imitated Bidyananda’s voice.
Manichandra further elaborated, stating, “Following the initial arrest, we promptly filed a report with the Cyber Crime unit of the Manipur Police. Initially, Bidyananda was taken into custody on January 31 from his residence and questioned about the controversial voice note. However, he was released on February 1.”
He emphasized that the release occurred because the police personnel recognized that the voice in question did not match Bidyananda’s. This information was unofficially conveyed to them by some police personnel. Manichandra continued, “Despite his release, the situation took a concerning turn on February 2 when Bidyananda was summoned to the police station and apprehended on various charges. “
Highlighting the legal implications, he urged the public to listen to the voice note and engage in discussions to ascertain whether it genuinely belonged to Bidyananda.
Manichandra continued by questioning the basis of Bidyananda’s arrest, stating, “Given that the arrest was made without concrete proof, we earnestly appeal to the government to release Bidyananda unconditionally. We question the Manipur Police: why hasn’t the page admin that published the contentious voice note been arrested and interrogated in connection with this matter? What is the rationale behind singling out Bidyananda? We harbor deep suspicions about the motives behind this move.”
He further addressed the ongoing tensions between the Meitei and Kuki communities, stating, “In light of the public’s deadline to the Manipur Government for resolving the current conflict, we are encouraged.
Despite the government’s call for a protest-free period in the valley region, we eagerly await a resolution. However, the arrest of Bidyananda by the government appears to be an attempt to incite protest within the Youth of Manipur organization.”
Manichandra expressed concern that Bidyananda’s arrest might be an orchestrated effort by the Manipur Government to provoke unrest within the Youth of Manipur organization.
“We find the arrest of Bidyananda deeply suspicious, considering that members of the Youth of Manipur have been targeted in the past. Incidents such as planting a hand grenade in the residence of a YOM member at Singjamei, and a gun attack at Bidyananda’s residence, among others, have been orchestrated to intimidate and instill fear within the Youth of Manipur. Despite such grave threats, Manipur Police have failed to apprehend those responsible for these attacks. Ironically, while real threats linger, Bidyananda was picked up in connection with a viral audio that doesn’t even feature his voice,” Manichandra continued.
He emphasized the Youth of Manipur’s commitment to peace, stating, “The government has persistently tried to exert pressure on the Youth of Manipur. However, it’s crucial to clarify that our organization consistently advocates for peace and nothing else. Even Delhi Police recognized and commended our efforts, stating that the Youth of Manipur deserves respect for its commitment.”
Manichandra acknowledged Bidyananda’s arrest but pointed out that there are thousands of youths like him within the organization. He emphasized the organization’s mission to vocalize concerns for positive societal change, urging the government to be attentive to the voice of the public. He concluded, “If the government proves incapable of listening to the public’s voice, they should reconsider their role as leaders in governance.”
“We steadfastly await the conclusion of the 15-day deadline. Despite any potential attempts by the Government to incite the Youth of Manipur into protest, we affirm that we will not succumb to such provocations,” asserted Manichandra.
Laishram Bidyananda, a member of the Youth of Manipur, has played a pivotal role in advocating for positive change both in Manipur and Delhi, particularly in response to the escalating violence stemming from the conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities since May 3, 2023. The Government’s efforts to quell the conflict have proven inadequate, as the toll of casualties continues to rise with each passing day. Despite the challenging circumstances, the Youth of Manipur seems to remain resolute in its commitment to peaceful advocacy for a better Manipur.