ITANAGAR, Jul 2: The Dada Welfare Society (DWS) on Thursday called on the police to sincerely and thoroughly investigate the assault on reporter Hofe Dada when he was reporting on the SMS Smelters Ltd’s factory in Lekhi.
Condemning the attempt of the alleged accused to “muzzle the media,” DWS advisor, retired colonel Bruce Jelli Dada said, “We hope the police authority will discharge their duty sincerely, investigate (the case) thoroughly, and reflect the names of the accomplices in the charge sheet.”
He said that if any untoward incident happens to Hofe Dada in the near future, alleged accused Nangram Tapu and the PRO of the SMS Smelters Ltd, Techi Jirjo would be held responsible.
“This message should go to the Nangram society and the Techi society, and whoever was involved in the incident, including the owner of the factory, that if anything happens to our brother, the blame should be on Nangram Tapu and PRO Techi Jirjo,” Bruce Jelli said, and appealed to the Techi and the Nangram societies to support the DWS in securing justice for Hofe Dada.
The organization also expressed shock over the repeated reference to the Tongam Rina shooting incident made by the alleged accused involved in assaulting Hofe Dada.
“It’s shocking to know that the culprit made reference to the Tongam Rina shooting incident while assaulting and threatening Hofe. The police should question them as to why they took Tongam Rina’s name while threatening him,” the DWS advisor said.
The retired colonel also commented on the pollution caused by the SMS Smelters Ltd.
“The factory is producing carbon monoxide and other hazardous chemicals, which is not only affecting the humans but also plants and other living things, which is a cause of concern for everyone,” he said.
Given the situation, he said, the people residing near the factory have the right to ask questions.
“I am sure that the state pollution control board and the forest department are well aware of the increasing pollution by that factory,” Bruce Jelli said, and requested the state government to look into the matter seriously.
DWS Youth Wing legal advisor Tang Dada denied the allegation of trespassing made against Hofe Dada in a counter FIR, and said that Hofe was filming the factory from someone else’s building, “without any ill-intention, and therefore the question of trespassing does not arise.”
Tang Dada also urged the police to inquire as to why the aggressors referred to the Tongam Rina shooting incident while assaulting Hofe Dada.
IFJ urges police to hold the perpetrators accountable
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Wednesday condemned the assault on Hofe Dada. In a statement which it published on its official page, the IFJ and its affiliate, the Indian Journalists Union denounced the attempt to silence Dada, and called on the police to hold the perpetrators accountable.
“The attack on Dada proves the urgent need for better protection for journalists in India and more accountability within the criminal justice system. The IFJ implores the authorities to strengthen the criminal justice process to ensure that journalists do not have live in fear for their reporting,” the IFJ said.