Militants in Manipur extorting money from radio employees

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Imphal, Aug 19 : All India Radio (AIR) staff recently staged a sit-in protest here protesting against the extortion demand by militant outfits.

A militant outfit demanded 10 per cent of the entire annual budget of AIR and two per cent from the salary of all the staff. They threatened the staff with dire consequences, if the demands were not met.

"We should be allowed to work freely to collect news and to serve the people. It is difficult for us to move freely as the threat sometimes becomes personal. We are asking the militant group is to leave us alone," said Bijaya Yumlimbam, a programme executive.

The staff is finding themselves in a helpless situation, as the budget of AIR is earmarked for each and every program and any deduction would have an adverse effect on the working of the organization.

Finding no other option, the employees have come out openly against the notorious activities of the militant outfits.

"All employees have come out voluntarily to sit-in protest against the demands and threat. As far as safety is concerned nobody is safe in Manipur," said Nando Singh, a news editor.

Just a few months ago, the Manipur Government announced a major plan to place the state on the country's tourism map and announced a slew of measures to attract tourists from different parts of the country.

But the only objective of the militants is to collect money.

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