Manipur media bodies comprising of Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union (MHIU) have submitted a memorandum to the Governor denouncing the harassment meted out to AMWJU President Wangkhemcha Shamjai by the NIA.
Meanwhile, registering a strong protest against the unwarranted harassment meted out to the AMWJU President, the Manipur media bodies have decided to cease work today.
In the memorandum, AMWJU, EGM and MHJU expressed shock and disappointment at the manner in which AMWJU President Wangkhemcha Shamjai was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and treated him like an accused person at its Imphal office on August 2.
A joint emergency meeting of AMWJU, EGM and MHJU convened at Manipur Press Club on Wednesday expressed strong resentment on such treatment meted out to Shamjai.
The meeting resolved to submit a memorandum highlighting such a painful episode to the Union Home Minister, State Governor, Chief Minister, Press Council of India (PCI) and Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU).
The meeting also decided to hold a protest demonstration on Thursday to denounce the interference of the NIA with the media community.
It further stated that on July 31, Shamjai received a phone call from an officer of NIA asking him to turn up at their office at 10 am of August 2. With a clear mind to co-operate with the agency’s investigation, Shamjai turned up on time.
However, to his utter surprise, he was left in a small room without being interacted till one officer began interrogating him around noon. He was then hurled with uncomfortable and unrelated queries in another room. According to Shamjai, he was also intimidated by the NIA sleuths. The interrogation continued till around 5 PM.
“We seriously take such excesses of the NIA as an insult and a big challenge to the independence of the media. Nevertheless, we as a law abiding and responsible citizens have been cooperating with any investigation taken up by the law enforcing/investigating agencies. And, we will continue to do so in future. This being the case, we urge upon your good office to look into the matter and take necessary actions to ensure the media fraternity is not further harassed by the NIA or any other investigating agencies in future,” it said.
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