AMWJU brings up AR assault on scribes to Union home minister
Newmai News Network
IMPHAL, February 14
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ll Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) today drew the attention of Union home minister Rajnath Singh regarding the alleged high handedness of the Central paramilitary forces, particularly the Assam Rifles in the insurgency hit state of Manipur.
The attitudes of the Central paramilitary which is under the Union ministry of home affairs has become a matter of concern and needed his urgent attention, the journalist body maintained in a memorandum submitted to the Union home minister while requesting him to redress the incident of assault of a scribe by troops of 9 Assam Rifles in the border town Moreh on February 12.The memorandum was submitted to the Union home minister Rajnath Singh before concluding his two-day visit in the state.
The assault of bureau chief Noren Ningombam of Impact TV Imphal by troops of 9 Assam Rifles in Moreh on February 12 night was a case of atrocious incident which the scribes working under the horrendous environment of armed conflict was facing, the memorandum stated.
Highlighting the incident in which the scribe was assaulted by escort personnel of the CO of 9 Assam Rifles on February 12 night, AMWJU alleged that the bureau chief was covering an incident of a mob attacking the Moreh SDPO office (Moreh police station) along with his video journalist K Bipin Sharma.
On seeing the journalists covering the incident, the CO of the 9 Assam Rifles, Colonel Anandi Antare, along with his escort personnel, forcibly tried to prevent the pressmen from discharging their duties by snatching their video cameras and mobile phones.
When the journalists protested, the AR troopers assaulted one of the journalists. They beat up the journalist black and blue, damaging his spectacle.
“This act of the Assam Rifles is highly condemnable and a direct attack on the freedom of press,” AMWJU lamented in the memorandum.
Besides, the assault on journalist, the Assam Rifles posted along the Imphal-Moreh section of Asian Highway has been causing a lot of hardship on the travelers on this route.
“In fact, the Assam Rifles personnel, on a number of occasion, have detained journalists on duty for long hours even though they identified themselves to be pressmen and produced their bonafide press ID cards,” the union alleged.
The memorandum further expressed hope that the home ministry would initiate some tangible proactive action to curb the atrocious act of the paramilitary forces as well initiate strict disciplinary action on the CO of the 9 Assam Rifles and his personnel who were involved in the direct assault on the journalists.
Copies of the memorandum were also furnished to the state chief minister, IGAR(S), Press Council of India and Indian Journalists’ Union, New Delhi, an AMWJU source said, reiterating that the resolution regarding boycott of Assam Rifles related news until and unless befitting disciplinary action was initiated against the colonel and his personnel.