All Manipur Working Journalists Union President`s home attacked

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IMPHAL, August 11: The residence of Ahongsangbam Mobi Singh, the President of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) was tonight attacked by unidentidied persons by lobbing grenade on hid home.

The grenade after falling on the tin roof of his home fell on the courtyard and exploded. There are no injuries on the family member and the neighbours, according to reports.

The police also came and enquired about the incident. It may be recalled here that, security was tightened up following threats on the lives of several editors of Imphal based newspapers including the President of AMWJU A Mobi who is also the Editor of Sanaleibak daily newspaper.

The threat came after the Imphal editors refused to publish a statement of the so called KYKL- MDF which floated wild allegations against certain individuals and threatened the individuals. The editors and AMWJU quoted Press Council of India guidelines and local adjustments in the said case.

Editors of Imphal based daily newspapers rushed to the spot and enquired of the grenade attack condemned it as an attack on the freedom of the press.

The President and members of the AMWJU standing committee along with the editors met the state Home Minister Gaikhangam today at his official residence and apprised him of the latest developments arising out of the standoff between AMWJU and the armed group.

Senior journalists informed the minister on the working conditions to which editors and journalists are performing their duties in the face of threats issued to them by certain armed groups possibly trying to come to terms with the government.

The Home Minister after listening to the pleas of the journalists gave instructions to police officers responsible for the security of the editors concerned.

Following the instructions of the state Home Minister, security measures were stepped up near the offices of the daily newspapers and at the residences of the editors.

After meeting the Home Minister, editors and the standing committee members of AMWJU had an emergency meeting and decided to call an emergency general body meeting of nthe AMWJU to deliberate on the threat and problems arising out  of it at 10 am tomorrow Sunday at the Manipur Press Club.

Editors of several local dailies have been threatened by a group calling itself the KYKL (MDF) for refusing to publish a statement issued by the group.

Meanwhile, the state Home Minister Gaikhangam issued a red alert following the threat to the editors.

The editors had taken the decision not to publish the statement taking into consideration PCI guidelines and its local adjustments. The statement was followed up by text messages for publishing it verbatim.

An emergency meeting of local editors with AMWJU president Ahongsangbam Mobi was held today afternoon to discuss the threat issued through an e-mail sent last evening.

The statement was signed by one L Shyamson Sharma, self styled publicity in charge of KYKL (MDF).

The meeting resolved to condemn the threat and further viewed the charges alleged by the outfit as an intimidation.

It may be mentioned here that there are at least three groups claiming to be factions of the group which broke away from KYKL and some of these factions have been giving pressure to the media to publish their statements and further threatened journalist and hawkers alike.

The media has a responsibility in disseminating newsworthy issues in the larger interest of the public. President of AMWJU appeals the concerned to stop victimizing the press and allow functioning in a congenial atmosphere.

Besides the threat on the editors, the PULF (Akbar) group had threatened all the media houses to publish a news item which is against the guidelines of Press Council of India (PCI).

Taking serious note on the diktat of the militant outfit, the joint meeting resolved to condemn it as the act amounted to violation and challenge to `freedom of press` and decided to reject any press release issued by the militant group in future.

Meanwhile, a group of editors led by AMWJU President A Mobi met the Home Minister and apprised him of the latest developments arising out of the standoff between the editors and the groups threatening the press.

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