The print and electronic media in Manipur on Monday began a boycott of all government news including functions presided over by Ministers in protest against violence against journalists — two of them were beaten up at gunpoint and a Doordarshan video camera was smashed in two incidents.
On October 10, A. Birjit and Priyo Achom, who were returning home at 10 p.m., were intercepted by police commandos in the Imphal city area. Allegedly under the influence of alcohol, the commandos held the journalists at gunpoint and kicked them despite their identifying themselves. They were also forced to stand on one leg for an hour. The commandos charged them with having links with militants.
The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, at a meeting on Sunday, condemned the excesses of the police commandos and decided on the boycott until the government punished the personnel.
In the other incident, about 10 persons who identified themselves as insurgents of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac-Muivah), which is holding talks with the government, snatched and smashed a video camera from a two-member DD team in Chandel district.
The reporter and the cameraman were also detained for covering a written test, held for recruitment of teachers in schools run by the tribal district councils, without permission from the NSCN (IM) authority there, the insurgents said. On being informed, the police rescued the two, but no arrest was made.