The Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) is shocked to learn about the assault of an Asomiya Pratidin journalist Milan Mahanta in Guwahati who was tied to an electric pole and beaten up in broad daylight on the eve of the National Press Day.
The Journalists Union said it was appalled by the development. “Not only is this a blatant attempt at curbing the right of a journalist to report on issues, but the manner of the violence is also despicable in all manner of speaking,” it said.
“We question how the law of the land can deteriorate to such an extent that goons feel embolden to act with such impunity,” it said. The union hoped that the “culprits are brought to book swiftly”.
In addition, APUWJ also raised its concern over the Meghalaya High Court’s decision to not quash a criminal case against veteran journalist and editor of The Shillong Times, Patricia Mukhim, for a Facebook post.
“Mukhim’s statement made on the social media platform is not devoid of facts, and instead of taking her to the task, the courts and other government authorities should focus on arresting those actually guilty of breaking laws and sowing communal discord in the state of Meghalaya,” the union said.
“We are also distraught by the continued lack of response from the Editors Guild of India to such attacks and systematic acts of suppression by government bodies in the North East,” the union added.
The union also condemned the repeated arrests of Manipur journalist, Kishorechandra Wangkhem, “which is another instance where the guild’s silence has been deafening”.
“The region and its people already feel a sense of distance from the rest of the country and such silence only adds to the feeling of alienation. We pray and hope that the guild looks inward and acts in a manner that reflects the ‘India’ part of its name,” it added.