Imphal: The journalists in Manipur staged a sit-in protest here Thursday over the alleged harassment of K Shamjai, President of All Manipur Working Journalists Union by NIA, even as the Central counter-terrorism agency continued to question him for a second time this week Thursday.
On Wednesday, a memorandum was submitted by the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union (MHJU) to Governor La Ganesan and CM N Biren informing them about the matter.
Meanwhile, the Indian Journalists Union condemned the summoning and harassment of Wangkhemcha Shamjai by the NIA.
IJU President Geetartha Pathak joined the protest here Thursday and demanded that the NIA desist from such arbitrary actions against journalists and respect the freedom of the press.
Talking to The North East Affairs, Geetartha Pathak said that journalists are under attack across the country and Manipur is no exception, but journalists in Manipur are under tremendous pressure as they have to operate under the added pressure of underground groups on the one hand and the State on the other.
He further said that it is the duty of the State to control the underground groups and if they do anything it is incumbent of the media to report it and you can’t persecute the media persons for doing their duty.
Wangkhemcha Shamjai, a respected journalist, is the Editor-in-Chief of an evening daily, Kangleipaki Meira.
IJU President and former member of Press Council Geetartha Pathak and Sabina Inderjit, IJU Secretary General, who is also Vice – President of IFJ and President, Federation of Asia Pacific Journalists Association, said such harassment of the President of AMWJU, an affiliate, is unacceptable in any democratic society.
Expressing solidarity with the media organisations, the IJU said NIA’s actions are a big challenge to the functioning of the media and its independence.
It joined them in urging the Governor and Chief Minister to look into the matter and take necessary actions to ensure the media fraternity is not further harassed by the NIA or any other investigating agencies in the future. With agency inputs