Monday, December 4, 2023

Academic gets two weeks’ protection from arrest in case registered after interview on Manipur

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The Supreme Court on Monday gave Hyderabad University professor, Kham Khan Suan Hausing, two weeks’ protection from coercive action in criminal proceedings instituted against him following his interview on Manipur to a news portal.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said the order would give Hausing “breathing time” to seek appropriate relief from the court concerned in Manipur.

Hausing was summoned by the Imphal East district court on 6 July after its chief judicial magistrate, Ashem Tarunakumari Devi, took cognisance of complaints made against him by Manihar Moirangthem Singh, a member of the Meitei Tribes Union (MTU). The complaint was based on an interview Hausing had given to Karan Thapar for The Wire, about the ongoing violence in Manipur.

Hausing is accused of offences including promoting enmity, making false declarations, and outraging religious feelings, among others, under the Indian Penal Code. The local court had noted that both the complainant and witness gave statements taking issue with the interview Hausing had given to a news website. According to both statements, he had made derogatory remarks against holy religious sites associated historically with the Meitei community namely Koubru, Thangjing and others.

During the hearing, senior advocate Anand Grover appearing on behalf of Hausing submitted that the situation in Manipur is very tense and that many professors have fled the northeastern state.

Kham Khan Suan Hausing is Professor, and currently the Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Hyderabad (UoH). He belongs to a tribal community from Manipur.

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