Manipur newspapers on indefinite strike to protest against bomb attack

Manipur newspapers on indefinite strike to protest against bomb attack
Manipur scribes during the protest in Imphal. (NP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, FEB 14 | Publish Date: 2/14/2021 12:20:50 PM IST

All newspapers in Manipur failed to hit the stands on Sunday as scribes and editors went on an indefinite strike in protest against the hurling of a hand grenade at the office of the Poknapham at Keishampat in the heart of the Imphal city. 

On Saturday evening, miscreant(s) launched a China-made hand grenade at the office of “Poknapham”, a local daily which also housed its sister (English) publication, in Imphal’s Keishampat, but failed to  explode. The police suspect hand of an armed outfit behind the bomb attack. However, none of them has so far owned up.

Terming it as a threat to media, scribes under the aegis of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union and Editors’ Guild Manipur decided to cease work immediately on Saturday night.

Following the decision, all local dailies cancelled their publication and local TV cable networks suspended broadcasting news.

On Sunday, the protesting scribes gathered in Imphal’s Keishampat where they staged a sit-in protest to condemn the threat to media and demanded “unconditional apology from the wrongdoer(s)” while alleging that it was not only an insult to the media but also an attempt to strangulate the freedom of press.

“Attack on journalism is an attack on democracy,” one of the many placards held by the protesting scribes read. Others read like “We demand unconditional apology from the wrongdoers”, “Threatening press, threaten democracy,” “Hand off press freedom”, etc. After the sit-in, representatives of the scribes proceeded to chief minister’s secretariat to submit a memorandum and draw his attention towards the latest threat to media in the State.

While strongly condemning the “cowardly attack” on the media, Manipur’s I&PR minister Th Biswajit Singh termed it as an attempt to strangulate freedom of expression. This kind of attack on the fourth pillar of democracy through coercive means to dictate the media would never be acceptable, he asserted.

Condemning the attack, Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) extended solidarity to the protesting media persons. IJU, in a statement, demanded the State government investigate the attack and bring the culprit(s) to book. 


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