Manipur, which had been reeling under a general strike called by film actors demanding the arrest of R.P. Livingstone, an NSCN(I-M) functionary, for allegedly misbehaving with an actress, suffered a jolt when a journalist was killed in police firing at Thangmeiband here on Sunday.
The strike has since been suspended till December 26 in view of Christmas.
According to informed sources, Dijwamani Thangjam, a stringer for DD News and Prime News, a Guwahati-based channel, was trying to film an incident in which a truck was set afire by strike enforcers when the police opened fire on him.
He was carrying a video camera and could not have been mistaken for a protester, it was pointed out. Hit in the chest and abdomen, the journalist was rushed to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences where doctors declared him dead at 1.10 p.m.
Shortly before he was rushed to hospital, Mr. Thangjam handed over a cassette he had filmed to a friend for safekeeping. However, the cassette went “missing” after the youth was arrested by the police. Eventually it was handed over to representatives of the journalists union. It is important evidence since it will help establish that the journalist was shot while on duty.
Journalists called on Chief Minister Okram Ibobi on Sunday night demanding action against the police personnel who shot dead Mr. Thangjam.
The killing has triggered widespread condemnation, especially from the media.
Mr. Ibobi, who had rushed to Delhi on Saturday, returned to Imphal on Sunday. He had called on Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to demand the handing over of the NSCN(I-M) functionary.