Journalists in Manipur protest against threats by KCP faction

Written by: Mamatha
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Imphal, July 9 (ANI): As militant outfits operating in Manipur carry on targeting the media persons and pressurise them to become their mouthpiece, the journalist fraternity here are agitated.

Newspaper offices in Imphal recently witnessed a deserted look following a threat by Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) - Military Council, which has split into two factions.

While one faction wanted their statement to be published the other threatened attacks on media houses if that was done.

Following the tussle between the two factions, the All Manipur Working Journalists Union decided not to publish newspapers.

"Media fraternity has always taken a decision not to publish certain press releases of outfits, which are not being recognized. And, recently they are being threatened. One of the daily's telephone was smashed recently. They warn and use foul language with the editors," said A Chaoba Sharma, a journalist with Imphal Free Press.

"The journalists of the state need to take a very firm stand that 'enough is enough'. We have had enough. Come hell... we are ready to do our duty. We must also publish our papers in the interest of the public because if we stop our work that means we are not giving the public their right to information in the present circumstances," Chaoba said.

The death threat to A. Mobi, editor of The Sanaleibak and spokesperson of the journalists' union by lanheiba faction of KD (MC) outfit was widely condemned.

And, the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union launched a three-day sit-in at Keishampat.

"The threat was given a few days back, but initially they apologized. In spite of apology, they again made a death threat to us. Now, we have decided to stage a sit-in," said Michael, Journalist, Sangai Express.

A few days ago, no newspapers hit the stands for two days in protest against abusive language and threats by the KCP (MC).

An emergency general body meeting of the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union and Editors was also held at the Manipur Press Club recently.

It was declared that threat to any journalist was a threat to the entire media community. It was resolved that the group should immediately withdraw its warning.

Many People of Imphal have condemned threats to members of the press by militant outfits.

"We condemn such threats to All Manipur Working Journalists' Union, Editors and other journalists, who are serving the public," said P. Kachun Ganglu, a local resident.

The threats by militants have made it difficult for the media to raise issues of public concern. (ANI)

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