SIT to probe grenade attack on newspaper office in Manipur
Imphal, Feb. 16 (EMN): Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has informed that a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe into the hand grenade lobbing incident at the office of a newspaper in Imphal on February 13.
The CM was replying to a call attention motion by opposition Congress MLA Khumukcham Joykishan Singh on the ninth day of the ongoing 12th session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
Media houses in the state have ceased publication after an unidentified person lobbed a hand grenade at the office of Poknapham, a local vernacular daily and its sister publication The People’s Chronicle (English daily), last week.
Strongly condemning the February 13 incident, Singh, who also holds the Home portfolio, said that an FIR has been lodged at Imphal Police Station in connection with the incident.
Stating that media plays an important role in dissemination of important information to the general public, he appealed to all the media professionals to resume its services in public interest as the government is taking up steps to arrest the accused person.
The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) jointly submitted a memorandum to the chief minister on February 14, urging him to intervene into the matter to arrest the person responsible for the incident and ensure safety of the journalists.
Meanwhile, no newspapers hit the stands for the third consecutive day in Imphal after the journalists’ fraternity in Manipur continued to stage sit-in-demonstration in Imphal, demanding their safety and security. Three local TV channels have also stopped telecasting.
The day’s sit-in, which was participated by important functionaries of Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union and others, was organised as per resolutions of an emergency general body meeting of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) held on February 15.
The said emergency meeting also asked those involved in the February 13 incident to give the reasons for the attack through AMWJU and EGM within 48 hours starting from February 15 midnight.
Demanding the state authority to arrest the person involved in the incident, it also resolved to continue the stir and hold another meeting to discuss the latest developments once the stipulated time (48 hours) is over.
On February 13, at about 6.30 pm, an unidentified person lobbed a hand grenade inside the office of Poknapham but it fortunately didn’t explode. A team of police recovered the grenade later, sources said.
Nobody has claimed responsibility for the incident till the time of filing this report and the reason for the attack is not known.