The Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights in Manipur and the United Nations (CSCHR) has condemned the arrest of its member and a well-known RTI activist, Advocate Wahengbam Joykumar, in a murder case. The CSCHR has demanded his immediate release.
The CSCHR said in a release that Joykumar was arrested from his residence at Wangkhei Hijam Leirak, Imphal West, on Saturday by a team of Thoubal Police led by W Ibohal Singh, MPS, SDPO, Thoubal.
According to the CSCHR, two police vehicles packed with security personnel stopped at the residence of Joykumar and tried to enter from the backdoor of his house. His wife, Wahengbam Purnimashi confronted them and told them to come properly from the main gate.
Some police personnel got inside the courtyard and told her to call her husband. Joykumar came out from the house and the security personnel told him that they had come to arrest him in connection with one murder case and asked him to come along with them for interrogation, the release stated.
Related: RTI activist Joykumar arrested in murder case
The security personnel did not even allow Joykumar to change his clothes, the CSCHR stated. But after the negotiation, he managed to change his clothes with one personnel watching over him. The security personnel also interrogated his wife and she signed an arrest memo.
At around 8:21 pm, the security personnel whisked away along with Joykumar, the release added.
The arrest memo mentions FIR No 17(1)2023 TBL PS u/s 307/326/34 IPC and 25(l-B)A Act added 302 IPC. The case is, apparently, in connection with the killing of a BJP functionary. The alleged killer, who is also an RTI activist, made the first call to Joykumar after the killing, the CSCHR stated in the release.
According to his wife, the alleged killer is a client of her husband and her husband had advised him to duly surrender to the police, which he did. Joykumar has been reportedly remanded to police custody till February 2.
The CSCHR stated that Advocate Joykumar's professional and legitimate action of advising his client cannot be construed in any way as criminal conspiracy and that he should be released immediately.
As a well-known human rights defender, who has contributed substantially in the public issues of Manipur, he should be treated with due respect and honour. He should not be subjected to any form of mental or physical torture, inhumane or degrading treatment while in custody, the CSCHR stated.