IJU condemns attack on three Manipur journalists by security forces

MANIPUR, 24 May: Security personnel of the Jat regiment and other central forces physically assaulted three journalists covering the resurgence of violence at New Checkon, Imphal on Monday, 22 May.

The incident unfolded when the three journalists were capturing a footage of a burning building from an unfinished structure near Brighter Academy School, New Checkon, Imphal. The three journalists who were assaulted are Soram Inaoba, Nongthombam Johnson and Brahmacharimayum Dayananda. No major injuries were reported.

As per report, the three media persons along with few other journalists were taking photos and videos of the arson from the said structure when personnel of the Jat Regiment, who were spread out below the building accused the media persons of pelting stones at the UAV reportedly operated by the security forces. According to the three media persons, they were waving away the drone as it had gotten too close to them.

Taking note of the issue Indian Journalists Union (IJU) affiliate journalists body of Manipur, the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) and Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and the Manipur Hill Journalists Union (MJHU) condemned the assault on the journalists and demanded suspension of the security persons involved in the assault within 48 hours and warned that media houses in Manipur will boycott all press releases, hand outs and press conferences related to the central paramilitary forces and armed forces operating in Manipur if the demand was not fulfilled. Later on, the security forces begged apology from the journalists and assured that such incident will not happen in future.

IJU president and former member of Press Council of India Geetartha Pathak and secretary general and vice president of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Sabina Inderjit condemned the assault on the journalists and asked the security forces not to target journalists and allow journalists to do their duty unhindered and respect freedom of media.