Manipur: Left parties threaten stir if jailed CPI leader is not released

Jimmy Leivon
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Sontikumar was remanded to seven-day judicial custody by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bishnupur on January 6 after completion of 14 days in judicial custody. (Representational Image)

Manipur Left parties on Sunday threatened to launch "intense forms of protests" if jailed CPI state secretary L Sotinkumar is not released or re-arrested again by police after his release. Sotinkumar was arrested December 20 last year under sedition charges for participating in a strike against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and will be produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate on Monday.

Ksh Shanta, state unit secretary CPI (M), Sunday said the Left parties, along with the people and other opposition parties, will launch protests if Sotinkumar is not released on Monday or if he is re-arrested by police. He further asserted that section 124A of the IPC is a colonial act and needs to be abolished in modern times.

Kh Surchand, assistant state secretary CPI, termed the arrest ‘arbitrary’ and demanded the former to be released unconditionally.

Four left-wing parties, which include CPI, CPI (M), RSP, and AIFB, had launched a 12-hour general strike on December 19 opposing the CAA despite the warning issued by Manipur Police that imposing bandh and blockade is unconstitutional citing a Supreme Court order. Sotinkumar was arrested the next day.

He was remanded to seven-day judicial custody by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bishnupur on January 6 after completion of 14 days in judicial custody.

Meanwhile, Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights (CSCHR), a conglomeration of human rights organisations and other civil society groups based in Manipur, has submitted a memorandum to UN Human Rights Council seeking their intervention in the “illegal” arrest and detention of the CPI secretary.

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