HRD and former bureaucrat
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on July 10, 2021, regarding the police inaction in the case of intimidation of columnist and former bureaucrat Dr. RK Nimai for authoring articles critical of the Manipur Government’s action. Dr. Nimai is a member of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) and is also a retired member of the Indian Administrative Service.
The English daily the Imphal Free Press on July 02, 2021, published two articles of Dr. Nimai, critical of the Manipur Government’s action of removing Kanglasha’s props from the Kangla Fort, Imphal. After the publication of the articles a mob of 20 people arrived at the Dr. Nimai’s house and shouted slogans and burnt copies of the published articles. After this incident, Dr. Nimai went to the Porompat police station and filed a complaint against the incident. However, the police neither registered an FIR nor has it taken any action against the perpetrators.
The next day, various civil society organisations including the AMWJU and the Editors Guild of Manipur, made a demand of the Director-General of Police of Manipur to ensure that immediate action against the culprits.
The harassment and intimidation of the columnist is an act of political reprisal for being critical of the government’s action. The police are under obligation to protect and prevent the prosecution of journalists and HRDs asserting their freedom of speech and expression. The act of the mob and police not taking action against the perpetrators violates his right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19A of the Indian Constitution and also Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.