Journalist bodies condemn Army for preventing reporters’ duty during gunfight

Imphal: The All Manipur Working Journalists Union and Editors’ Guild Manipur have strongly condemned the manner in which combined troops of the 20 Jat Regiment and 5/4 GR prevented media persons from doing their duties on Thursday at the Sabungkhok Khunou area, where the media persons had gone to cover an incident of attack on Sabungkhok Khunou village.

In the incident, troops of the Jat Regiment not only prevented a media team consisting of reporters from ISTV, Impact TV, Tom TV, and ISCom from covering the incident but forced them to delete whatever footage was there on their mobiles. Another team of media consisting of Tom TV and Impact TV on the other side of the area was also initially prevented from taking any footage of the incident, the two journalist bodies said.

They consider this as ‘direct attack on freedom of speech’. They said it is an effort to muzzle the press, and demanded accountability.

They have decided to submit a memorandum each to the chairman, Unified Command,  Kuldiep Singh (Security Advisor of the CM), and Governor Manipur Anusuiya Uikey to look into the series of attacks on media since May 3, and take appropriate action.

The media in Manipur has been working in an extremely difficult situation since the present crisis broke out. “We once again appeal to all security forces operating in the state not to target or prevent media personnel from performing their legitimate duties,” the journalist bodies said.

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