The print and electronic media in Manipur began boycotting all government news including those of functions presided over by the Ministers from Monday. This is in protest against the beating up of two journalists at gun point and smashing of the video camera of the Doordarshan, in two separate incidents.
On October 10 night two journalists, A Birjit and Priyo Achom, who were returning home at 10 pm after duty were intercepted by some police commandos here. Even after the duo identified thesmselves as journalists returning home after duty, the allegedly drunk commandos held at them at gun point and behaved violently.The commandos had charged them of having links with the militants.
The All Manipur Working Journalists' Union held an emergency meeting on Sunday. Condemning the excesses of the police commandos, the meeting resolved to boycott the government news until the personnel involved are punished and remedial measures spruce up the police force are taken.
Recently some police commandos had allegedly escorted over 300 miscreants to the newspaper offices to browbeat the editors for publishing a report based on a press release by the Apunba Lup, the apex body of the voluntary organisations in Manipur. The miscreants were also defying the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC.
In another incident, about ten persons who had identified themselves as insurgents of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) which is holding talks with the Indian government had snatched the video camera from the Doordarshan team in Chandel district. They were charged with taking the video tape without permission from the NSCN(IM) authority there. The reporter and the cameraman were covering the written test for recruitment of teachers in the schools run by the tribal district councils.
The costly camera was smashed and the reporter and the cameraman were detained. It was made known that Robert J. Baite, the News Editor of Doordarshan should come if the hostages are to be relieved. On being informed the district police rescued the hostages, however, the police did not arrest the insurgents.