Several bodies condemn assualt of reporter

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IMPHAL, February 12: Several organisations have condemned the assault of Imphal Free Press senior journalist Aribam Chaoba by some personnel of the 1st IRB near the northern gate of Kangla on the night of February 10.

Women Action for Development has condemned the assault and said such act of brutality showcased the ill-moral and indiscipline attitude of personnel towards the public.

A press release of the organisation said, “Exercising military powers and showcasing the strength of nepotism by the personnel to the civilians are the ill-feted trends going on these days.”

“If this is a part of police modernization then modern policing is not for the welfare of the people but for the security and protection of the high ranking officials and legislators.”  

WAD further said that WAD also condemns the racial issues faced by the people of North East at the national capital, it said, before adding, “Among the five victims reported, four are from Manipur.”

“Despite safeguarding and protecting the people of North East at the capital, central political leaders are playing the blame game by taking advantages of the situation,” it said.

The Manipur Cycle Club has also condemned the assault of the senior reporter who is an executive member of the club.

Further condemning the incident, a press statement of the club said, “Recounting the past of IRB men who were found stealing motor bikes, raping women, robbing the public, it is very clear that this ill trained establishment is a threat to the society and its normal conduct.”

“It is possible that this effort by this IRB team was intentioned to generate fear in the minds of the public and to the media fraternity and this they have achieved.”  

It further said the IRB must be stopped of its criminal activities in all its forms, and the only way is to either abandon this institution or completely revamp by retraining and re-educating them. In addition, those involved in this criminal assault on Paojel Chaoba be given exemplary and befitting punishment and fully dismissed from service as their continuation is a threat to life.

Meanwhile, the North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF), have also condemned the assault of Aribam Chaoba alias Dhananjoy Sharma, a senior reporter of Imphal Free Press and a Standing Committee Member of the All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) when he was returning home from work on 10 February 2014 at around 11:30 pm near the Northern gate of Kangla, Imphal West, by personnel of the 1st IRB (Whisky 8) for not complying with their diktat.

A statement said that it is unfortunate for all of us that a personnel who is a protector of the civilian population boasted that he was a close relative of a minister, and not scared of anyone.

“Media fraternity in Manipur has often been the soft target in the hands of both the state and the non-state actors. Media used to feed humankind with news and views every instant. Today, the role of media particularly in this conflict torn region has been broadened from sheer reporting to greater participation in finding the answer of a crisis,” it said.

“Physical assault of a journalist is humiliation of the whole media community and the society as well since the media is the fourth estate of modern democracy, ” it lamented before adding that such act of uncivilized manner is condemnable by and all.

The government, should book the culprits involved in the physical assault of Chaoba and be punished them as per the law of the country, it said.

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