Manipur journalists say they will defy militants

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Imphal, Jun 30: The Journalists Association in Manipur has decided to defy militants and has unanimously agreed not to succumb to pressure exerted on them by various underground groups. Last week, media houses stopped the publication of newspapers in protest against a threat issued to them by some factions of militant groups.

The militants threatened to respond with bullets if press statements issued by them were not published by the Manipuri press. "It's not new in Manipur. Media people have been facing this for a long time," said Saratchandra Sharma, a journalist.

An emergency meeting of the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union was also held to deal with the militant threat.

Chaoba Sharma, another journalist, said: "I think it is time that the All Manipur Working Journalist's Union and editors take a very firm stand o what to publish or not to publish. Once a decision is taken, we should stand by it, whether to publish it or not."

Citizens in Manipur have expressed concern over the threat to media. "It is very unfortunate. The media should be given all free scope to deal with the public interest. No one, even the militants, revolutionaries or anybody, let them be king or emperor, should interfere with the media," said N. Binoy Singh, the President of the Senior Citizens Forum .


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