Newspapers shut down for a day against bomb threat on editor

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Media persons protesting, against the bomb threat on Impact TV editor in chief Rupachandra’s residence, near the Keishampat bridge on Wednesday. IFP Photo

IMPHAL, December 17: The journalist faternity of the State came out on the streets on Wednesday registering a strong protest against the bomb threat on Impact TV editor-in-chief Yumnam Rupachandra Singh who is also the general secretary of the Editors’ Guild Manipur.

The demonstrating media persons including reporters, editors and others stayed off normal duty on December 16 in protest and instead staged a sit in protest near the Keishampat Bridge.

Later, the media persons took out a rally and submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam demanding immediate security protection for the media persons.

The memorandum stated that the journalists fraternity is frequently threatened by various militant groups operating in the State.

A grenande was found at the residential gate of Impact TV editor in chief Yumnam Rupachandra on December 14 around 7:30pm.

According to a joint statement of the EGM and the All Manipur Working Journalists Union issued on December 15, a joint meeting of the two bodies had condemned the threat served to editors and journalists by a leader claiming to be from an underground outfit over publication of news and the bomb placed at the residence of the editor.

As a mark of protest, local dailies had left thier editorial spaces blank on December 16 and the media faternity had stayed off their work on December 16.

Meanwhile, the All Jiribam Working Journalist Union (AJWJU) vehemently condemned the bomb threat.

In a statement released by AJWJU’s general secretary, M Romeo Singh, said that in a democratic nation the media fraternity is considered as the fourth estate however it questioned the motive of the revolutionary groups for frequently creating a fear Psychosis to the lot.

Reminding that the media fraternity are serving the public, it opined that threatening the fraternity is against the principle and ideology of any revolutionary movement.

The media fraternity too are also abiding its own ethics and ideology while discharging their duties, it continued.

It further appealed the revolutionary groups to refrain from serving threats or diktats considering the plight of the journalist community.

The AJWJU also further resolved to extend full support in every decision taken by AMWJU with regards to the incident.

The United NGOs Mission Manipur has also condemned the incident.

In a separate press release, it said such attack on the media faternity is not the first time.

Stating that there have been many instances when the media faternity had been attacked, it said such kind of attack can only create a more serious and negative impact on the psychology and physical well being of the whole State.

It further urged the State government and the Centre to invite independent experts or delegations from the National Human Right Commission to investigate the case for further legal action and to work out a mechanism to protect the media faternity.

Such attack is a violation of the Indian Constitution, it claimed and added at the same time the government of Manipur and the Centre arre unable to provide the fundamental rights prescribed in the Constitution.

All Manipur Students Guardians’ Organisation Manipur, also strongly condemned the bomb threat.

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