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Strike Resumed by Manipur Journalists After Recent Threat

  by NEWSNER , 2021-02-27 17:41:18

Strike Resumed by Manipur Journalists After Recent Threat

Publication of stories papers and broadcasting of news by local cable networks will remain suspended indefinitely once more as journalists resumed their cease work strike on Friday whilst the government appealed to the state media to not resort to a news blackout.


The journalists resumed the cease work strike following a fresh to the office of the Poknapham and its sister publication People’s Chronicle by the militant group behind the recent failed bomb attack.


Suspected militant(s) had recently lobbed a grenade at the office of the Poknapham on February 13 evening which didn't explode. Denouncing the bomb threat, journalists under the aegis of All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) and Editors Guild Manipur (EGM) resorted to an indefinite strike an equivalent day.

As no armed underground groups owned up the attack within the 48-hour deadline set by the journalists’ bodies, the state media resumed performing from February 19 last, assuming that they had not committed any mistake that might hurt the interest of any armed groups.


However, on Wednesday, an equivalent media house (Poknapham) and its sister publication Peoples’ Chronicle received fresh threats from a militant group that owned up the failed bomb attack.


They further asked to suspend publication for 6 months. AMWJU and EGM have condemned the threat strongly while resolving that the journalist fraternity of the state will fight together.


A joint meeting of the AMWJU and EGM convened on Thursday resolved to ask the group to supply detail of the fees they levelled before taking any action against the media house.

While resolving to cease work by journalists indefinitely, the bodies set yet one more 48-hour deadline to supply the detail of the fees from Friday at 6 am.


Until the threat persists, the publication of all newspapers will remain suspended. Local cable networks also will suspend the broadcasting of stories in their channels as resolved by the scribes’ bodies.


The AMWJU and therefore the EGM has also expressed strong resentment over the non-arrest of the perpetrator(s) behind the recent bomb attack even after 10 days of the expiry of the deadline it had set.

On the opposite hand, authorities of the Manipur government today appealed to AMWJU, EGM and media houses to not resort to news blackout or shutdown of services within the interest of the overall public.


The appeals were made through the deputy commissioners of dual capital districts –Imphal West and Imphal East districts – while reacting to resolutions gone by a joint meeting of AMWJU and EGM.


In the appeal note, Imphal West DC convinced that police were fixing all possible efforts and investigation was happening fully swing to nab the miscreant(s) behind the February 13 bomb attack at Poknapham office in Imphal.


The DC stated that the media is taken into account to be the fourth pillar of democracy and there's always the necessity to stay the overall public informed about the news from the state, more so within the wake of COVID-19.


The role of media houses within the state within the fight against COVID-19 can't be overemphasized and there was still the necessity for the media houses to require a pivotal role in spreading information and messages to the overall public for sensitization, containment and other preventive measures regarding the pandemic.


As such, putting the pen down and a stop on publication and circulation of stories will cause deprivation of data on issues and events, thereby affecting public life and causing inconveniences to the general public at large, the DC added, within the appeal note.


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