The text of a press release from the Indian Newspaper Society issued in New Delhi on February 17, 2014

The Indian Newspaper Society notes with concern a decision of The Arunachal Times to suspend publication in order to avoid a confrontation with a students’ group. The all-powerful students’ group was reportedly permitted by the district administration in Itanagar to stage a dharna outside the newspaper office, a move that was aimed at intimidating the newspaper. That the administration took this decision without reference to the newspaper is surprising.

This is another in a series of attacks on the Press in the north-east, orchestrated by groups that demand only their viewpoint be published, while showing extreme intolerance towards others. It is necessary for governments to recognise that the right to free speech is enshrined in the Constitution, and must be preserved and defended. Easy capitulation, as evidently happened in Itanagar, only emboldens those who wish to throttle the Press.

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