IMPHAL, April 17: The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union has condemned, in the strongest term, the case of misusing a Press Identify Card detected by the Manipur Police at Alia Crossing, near Lilong Bazar on April 17.
According to a statement of the union, one Okram Zeemat Singh son of Okram Shamungou Singh of Singjamei Makha, Aheibam Leikai, Kakwa, Imphal West was apprehended by personnel of Lilong Police at around 3:15 pm during frisking duty of the police team as part of the road opening party for the Chief Minister’s scheduled Thoubal visit on the said day.
It said on the said day, when the police stopped the said person for frisking, the miscreant produced a press Id-card claiming to be a cameraman cum online-editor of the popular news portal, E-pao.net.
However, upon investigation, the police recovered 30 pieces of SP tablets from his possession, it said.
On learning about the incident, a team of the AMWJU standing committee reacted and immediately verified through legitimate staffs of E-pao that the said person Okram Zeemat Singh is not of the media organization and that the press card he produced was fake.
In fact, E-pao.net clarified that it does not issue any Identity Cards to its staff, it said.
Further, the AMWJU’s executive body requested the Lilong Police to take up stern action against the imposter and requested the police to conduct a thorough investigation to ascertain whether there is a gang operating using fake press cards, it said.
AMJWU views this case very seriously and appeals to all concerned to help the organization check such criminal acts, it added.
Such incident not only malign the image of the journalist community but will obstruct in the free and fair functioning of the press, it added.
Significantly, the incident comes at a time when the union is actively campaigning to prevent cases of misusing press labels used on vehicles to preserve the sanctity of the Press, it said.