Journalists Boycott Assam Rifles After Assault
A troop of Assam Rifles in Manipur
NEW DELHI: The journalist fraternity in Manipur have decided to boycott all news related to the Assam Rifles after it allegedly assaulted two journalists, including a News Bureau Chief at Moreh ( a small border town 110 km away from Imphal) on Thursday night.
The embargo was decided in an emergency meeting of the Standing Committee of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and Editors Guild Manipur on Friday wherein both the unions strongly condemned the action by the Assam Rifles.
Impact TV News Bureau Chief Noren Ningombam and video journalist K Bipin were covering an attack on the Manipur police by some miscreants at the border town of Moreh on February 12 when suddenly, a team of 9 Assam Rifles led by its CO Col Anandi Antare asked them to stop reporting and started beating them badly.
All their personal belongings including mobile phones, cameras,etc were allegedly taken away by the Assam Rifles troops.
Both the AMWJU and the Editors Guild have decided to black out all news of the Assam Rifles till befitting disciplinary action is initiated against the CO and his escort party.
They have also urged the Press Council of India to take up this matter seriously.
Further, a memorandum highlighting the latest incident of attacking media persons physically and high-handedness of Assam Rifles troops on NH-102 was also submitted to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who has just concluded his two-day visit to the north-east. He was urged to let media persons work freely according to the Constitution of India.
Copies of the memorandum was also forwarded to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, IGAR (S), Press Council of India and Indian Journalists Union, New Delhi.
Interestingly, a statement by the Guild further said that it would also boycott the Chief Minister, his Council of Ministers and Congress MLAs from February 21 if the Chief Minister fails to take up some tangible steps on their demands.
The Guild representatives had met the Chief Minister on three different occasions regarding their demands, the statement said and added that however the Chief Minister has been maintaining silence on the matter till date although the Guild submitted a written request on January 22 again.
Assam Rifles have been posted along the Imphal-Moreh section of the Asian Highway No 2, and has been creating a lot of trouble, as per the statement issued by the AMWJU.
They do not allow movement of vehicles after 1800 hrs and have been causing great inconvenience to the bypassers.
They have also detained journalists on duty for long hours even after the journalists had produced their press identity cards.