Home Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei on Friday claimed that one person responsible for the verbal threats to the editors and reporters has been arrested.
The accused, identified as Priyokumar Thokchom of Uchiwa, was a computer engineer and was currently engaged in the installation works of mobile towers by a private company Infra Tel.
Mr. Gangemi said that police have been tapping the mobile phone calls of the accused, who reportedly used the same handset and SIM card to threaten the editors and reporters with death if they refused to publish some underground press releases.
In the last week of August one underground organisation had also asked the paper boys not to deliver newspaper copies. Since the militants threatened to kill them the paper boys refused to distribute copies of the newspapers.
The newspapers also failed to hit the stands for two days since the editors and reporters were protesting. Mr. Gangmei said based on information extracted from the accused some more arrests may be made shortly. However, he declined to disclose the name of the underground organisation to which the arrested person belongs.
Police sources said that the accused who is now in police custody is subjected to intensive interrogation. They were expecting some vital information.
Scribes also pointed out that the arrest was made only now — within 10 hours of the departure of a PCI team, even though they had furnished the SIM numbers to the police in August.
Members of a Press Council of India (PCI) sub-committee, which was formed to look into the mater, conveyed their strong displeasure to the Manipur government, on the recent threat to journalists in the state.
The PCI team asked the Manipur government to create congenial atmosphere in which the editors and reporters could work peacefully and without fear.