Expedite Tongam Rina attack probe: IFJ-IJU
SHILLONG, Jun 10: Members of International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) and Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) adopted a resolution Monday demanding Arunachal Pradesh government to expedite the investigation of Tongam Rina case and take strong measure for safety and security of press persons in the state.
Journalists from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Sikkim and mainland highlighted as to how journalists are being targeted during the concluding day of the two-day regional seminar-cum-workshop that concluded at Shillong Club here Monday.
Themed “Journalist’s safety, increasing security and ending impunity to the attackers”, the workshop organized by South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN)t, a unit of the IFJ, in association with IJU and Shillong Press Club, saw its most important event with the presentation of situation reports and campaign priorities by the participants.
Arunachal Press Club president Taba Ajum explained in details about how press persons are regularly threatened and intimidated by various groups in the state and the failure of state police to nab the culprit involved in the assassination bid on Tongam Rina case.
“It’s going to be one year but the police have failed to make any arrest. There are other cases of attacks on various media houses and individual journalists. Police have failed to take strong action against attackers in all the cases,” Ajum said.
In Assam alone more than 24 journalists were killed during last few decades while in Manipur 7 media persons lost lives till date. In all these cases the respective state police have failed to make any arrest or breakthrough.
They expressed serious concern over how various newspaper owners in the NE region have failed to implement recommendation of various wage boards constituted to ensure proper salary structure for the media persons.
They also called upon the Assam and Manipur Govts. to give status report on various cases related to journalist killing.
An interim committee of newly formed North East India Federation of Journalists (NIJF) was selected with BB Lahkar (senior journalist of Assam Tribune and vice president of Journalists Union of Assam), APC president Ajum and Shillong Press Club president David Laitphlang as president, vice president and secretary general respectively.
The NIFJ will lobby government, publishers, broadcasters, international community and other relevant bodies in support of freedom of expression and rights of media workers with special focus on NE region.
IJU secretary Geetartha Pathak, in his concluding remark, emphasized the need for better coordination between NE journalists and their mainland counterparts to stand united for common cause and hoped that the NIJF would serve as abridge between the NE and the rest of the world.