Manipur media fraternity protests against bomb threat, news publication shut

Imphal: Media fraternity of Manipur under the umbrella of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and Editors Guild Manipur (EGM) staged sit-in rally in the heart of Imphal on Sunday condemning the incident of bomb lobbing at the office of Poknapham, a Manipur daily.

Media houses here stopped their daily publications of the day.

A woman who came on two wheeler tossed a hand grenade at the media house office, Keishampat at around 6:30 pm. There was no report of casualty as the bomb did not burst.

AMWJU and the EGM decided to cease all news publications for the day and stage protest rally.

Information and public relations minister Th. Biswajit condemned the act as a cowardly attack upon the media attempting to strangulate the freedom of expression.

Joining the protest rally of the journalist fraternity, acting chairperson of Manipur Human Rights Commission’ Khaidem Mani said, “I strongly condemn the act of terrorism, act of tyranny… Threatening civilian in not an act of revolution. It is against the true spirit of revolution…”

He said violation of human right, freedom of speech and expression is against the Geneva Convention’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The media fraternity demanded immediate clarification from the assailant responsible for the attack.

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times, an evening daily said the bomb did not cause harm, still then it is an intimidation to the press fraternity. We don’t have exact idea what these people want from us.’

Apunba Nupi Lup, Bishnupur and All Bishnupur District Working Journalist Union staged sit-in at Bishnupur condemning the threat to media house.

Indian Journalists Union (IJU) condemns the bomb attack. In a press statement IJU president and former member of Press Council of India Geetartha Pathak and vice-president of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Secretary General of IJU Sabina Inderjit expressed grave concern at the frequent attacks on media houses and journalists of the state. IJU leaders demands the state government to investigate the incident of bomb attack and bring the culprits to book. IJU also urged the state government to ensure safety and security of journalists and media houses of Manipur.

After the protest rally representatives of AMWJU and EGM met chief minister N. Biren Singh urging him for safety of journalist and media houses. Biren asked the representatives to resume news publications assuring to nab the assailant.

Later, a meeting was held at Manipur Press Club, here. However, the sitting could not decide on the resumption of publication. The publication will stop until it is decided by a meeting scheduled on Monday morning.

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