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Anti-CAA protests: Re-arrest of party leader irks Manipur CPI

Correspondent IMPHAL, Dec 22 | Publish Date: 12/22/2019 10:24:13 AM IST

Re-arrest of its leader after release on bail by the court has irked Manipur CPI, the party that has been demnading immediate release of its state secretary L Sotinkumar.

The irked party on Sunday demanded immediate release of their leader and strongly condemned the ‘dictatorial attitude’ of N Biren-led BJP’s coalition government.

A team of Imphal West district police arrested CPI state council secretary L Sotinkumar on December 20, barely a day after the party spearheaded the state-wide 12-hour general strike against CAA on December 19. L Sotinkumar was produced by the police before Imphal West chief judicial magistrate along with leaders and workers arrested during the general strike and after the strike who were then released him on bail on Saturday.

He was however picked up by a team of Imphal West district police again from the gate of the court complex in Imphal where he was released after securing  bail.

The CPI alleged that Sotinkumar was re-arrested by the police in connection with a statement made against the state government during an anti-CAA protest in the December 19 general strike.

The party said that the re-arrest and detention was unlawful and  part of the government’s repressive measure.

Addressing a press conference at state CPI office in Imphal, CPI national executive member Dr M Nara Singh condemned the re-arrest of party leader and demanded immediate release of the party state secretary without any condition. CPI and left parties had launched a nationwide protest against CAA and in solidarity to other states protesting. The Manipur units of left parties led by the CPI had given the 12-hour general strike that ended peacefully with spontaneous response from the people.

Nara claimed that the general strike ended peacefully with no violent incident related reported from the strike . Besides, leaders and workers of the parties abstained from indulging in any kind of unlawful activity including blocking of road, he added.

He alleged that the CPI state secretary was picked up and detained by the state government for criticising the incumbent BJP-led government in the state.

The N Biren-led government is avenging criticism of the government, he alleged, terming the act as that of a dictatorial government.  He said that Sotinkumar was performing his duty only as leader of a political party and in the interest of the people adding that he should not be treated as a criminal.

He said that during the December 19 anti-CAA strike across the country, many leaders and workers were arrested. All of them were charged with sedition but they were released on bail.

The state secretary of the party was the only leader who was re-arrested by the police, he pointed out, asking the reason behind the detention of the party leader.

He then said that if there was any misunderstanding with the statement by the CPI leader against the state government, the same can be resolved through dialogue. Political leaders were working in the interest of the people and every concerned citizen knows who were serving the state and its people with sincerity, he added.

The state witnessed a relatively calm situation after the implementation of ILP even though other parts of the country, particularly northeast is burning after the contentious CAB was passed as Act

Instead of repressive measure, the state government should consult with political parties and CSOs to explore ways to prevent the state from the worse impact of CAA as the extension of ILPS has not able to allay people’s apprehensions, he said.

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