Summoning NEPS an assault on freedom of press

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From Okenjit Sandam
DIMAPUR, Feb 11:Drawing attention to a news report Mon MLAs summon NEPS the Kohima Press Club (KPC) Thursday said it was unfortunate on the part of democratically elected members of the people to summon the editor of North East Press Service (NEPS), Oken Jeet Sandham.
“It is nothing but strangulation or direct assault on the Freedom of Press enshrined in the Constitution”,stated a press release issued by KPC president K. V Nurumi and general secretary Khriezovonuo Lhoungu.
On February 7, the four MLAs from Mon district, in reaction to report filed by NEPS on possibility of bifurcation of Mon district into two, had directed NEPS’s Oken Jeet Sandham to meet them in person to clarify the news.
The KPC representatives said they, as members of press fraternity, function in a democratic norm of Fourth Estate, and always insist on expressing diverse views on any subject of public importance.
They also said that four MLAs have every right to express their views/opinions on the matter. But it is unfortunate on their part to summon NEPS editor, KPC added.
With regard to disclosure of source from NEPS, the KPC said no one can force a reporter/correspondent to disclose his/her source(s).
“It is the norms and ethics in the functioning of the Press”, they said.
According to KPC the NEPS editor, in its meeting, had expressed desire to issue clarification particularly on the news item.
However, the KPC said since he was not allowed to furnish any clarification by the MLAs, it has decided that he would not meet the MLAs “under any circumstances”.

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