IMPHAL, Sep 25 MNS NNN : The Sub-Committee on Safety of Journalists, Press Council of India (PCI) today held an interaction programme with scribes of Manipur to discuss various problems here at Classic Hotel.
A six-member team of the committee headed by its convenor Kosuri Amarnath interacted with the state working journalists on various difficulties and problem faced by them in the conflict situation prevailing in Manipur. The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) also submitted a representation to the PCI through the delegation raising different demands.
AMWJU urged PCI to enact proper legislations to safeguard journalists and take up welfare measures. About 50 cases related to threats by government, militants, army, Assam Rifles, police and other organisations were also given to the PCI team.
Journalists present in the meeting informed about repeated snatching of cameras by army/ Assam Rifles. When the cameras were returned after intervention by government the memory sticks, rolls, disks were not returned it was informed.
The PCI team urged the media fraternity to inform the PCI about any incident and assured to take up actions against all government agencies. Even though AFSPA imposed in Manipur the army is not empowered to disturb functioning of the media and harass journalists, Convenor of the team, Amarnath said. PCI and some state governments are in favour of enactment of a law to safeguard journalists he said.
The team will stay at Manipur till tomorrow and interact with Deputy Chief Minister, Gaikhangam and other government officials. So far the team has covered ten states and some other states will also be visited.
Kalyan Barooa, Arun Kumar, Arvind S Tengre, members of the sub-committee and PCI staff members Bhim Singh and Naveen Joshy are among the delegation led by Amarnath. The delegation arrived in Imphal yesterday on a three-day visit to the state.
AMWJU president Wangkhemcha Shyamjai, members of the union and Letkhogin Haokip, Commissioner, Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), W Rajen, Director and other officials, and editors of local dailies attended the programme.
The AMWJU apprised the PCI delegation on threats and harassment endlessly meted out to the editors and working journalists by both the state and non-state actors in the state.
At the interaction session, the AMWJU also explained it about the common pay scale of the state journalists and denial of various benefits to them.
The union at the same time submitted a memorandum to the chairperson, PCI through the sub-committee revealing a detailed report on the seven scribes who had been killed in the volatile state in separate incidents that occurred from 1993 to 2012. The memorandum also mentioned about constant threats and harassment being meted out to the state journalists by different underground groups, social organizations and state and Central forces.
Amarnath said that all the difficulties confronting the scribes in Manipur are almost same with the complexities faced by Maoist-affected states of India. However, he said these problems are not similar to the problems faced by journalists in Jammu and Kashmir.
He assured that the delegation will meet the state Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister tomorrow to push for taking up appropriate steps for the safety of the state journalists.
The PCI sub-committee had earlier visited Maharashtra, J&K, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya and gathered reports on problems faced by the journalists of these states.
Read more / Original news source: http://manipur-mail.com/pci-team-takes-views-of-scribes-on-safety-issue/