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Media bodies protest NIA’s ‘ill-treatment’ of leading Manipur journalist

The media organisations have decided to hold a protest demonstration on Thursday to denounce the “interference” of the NIA with the media community.

IANS | Imphal |

Three major Manipur journalists’ organisations on Wednesday alleged that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) called the President of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) in its office here and ill-treated him.

Condemning the NIA’s alleged act, the AMWJU, the Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM), and Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union (MHJU), following a joint emergency meeting, resolved to submit memoranda “highlighting such painful episode” to the Union Home Minister, the Manipur Governor and Chief Minister, Press Council of India (PCI) and Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU).

The three media organisations, in a joint statement, express shock and disappointment on the manner in which AMWJU President Wangkhemcha Shamjai was summoned by the NIA and treated like an accused person at its Imphal office on Tuesday.

The media organisations have decided to hold a protest demonstration on Thursday to denounce the “interference” of the NIA with the media community.

“After summoning Shamjai over phone on Tuesday morning, he was left in a small room… till one officer began interrogating him around noon. He was then hurled with uncomfortable and irrelevant queries in another room. According to Shamjai, he was also intimidated by the NIA sleuths. The interrogation continued till around 5 p.m.,” the joint statement said.

“We seriously take such excesses of the NIA as an insult and a big challenge to the independence of the media. Nevertheless, we, as law-abiding and responsible citizens, have been cooperating with any investigation taken up by the law enforcing and investigating agencies and we will continue to do so in future.”

IJU’s all India Joint Secretary and Agartala Press Club Secretary Pranab Sarkar condemned the NIA’s “ill-treatment” of the senior journalist of Manipur and demanded a probe into the incident.