Media outlets protest NIA’s ‘mistreatment’ of prominent Manipur journalist

Imphal, Aug 4 (IANS): On Wednesday, three major journalists’ organizations in Manipur claimed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had summoned the president of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) to his office and abused him.

Condemning the alleged act of the NIA, AMWJU, Editors Guild of Manipur (EGM) and Journalists Union of Manipur Hill (MHJU), following a joint emergency meeting, decided to submit memoranda “highlighting such a painful episode” to the Union Home Minister, the Governor of Manipur and Chief Minister, the Press Council of India (PCI) and the Union of Indian Journalists (IJU).

The three media organizations, in a joint statement, express their shock and disappointment at the manner in which AMWJU President Wangkhemcha Shamjai was summoned by the NIA and treated as a defendant in his office in Imphal on Tuesday.

The media decided to organize a protest demonstration on Thursday to denounce the “interference” of the NIA with the media community.

“After summoning Shamjai by telephone on Tuesday morning, he was left in a small room…until an officer began questioning him around noon. He was then tossed with uncomfortable and irrelevant questions in another room. According to Shamjai, he was also intimidated by NIA detectives. The interrogation continued until approximately 5 p.m.,” the joint statement read.

“We take these excesses by the NIA seriously as an insult and a great challenge to the independence of the media. Nevertheless, we, as law-abiding and responsible citizens, have cooperated with any investigation undertaken by the forces of the order and investigative agencies. and we will continue to do so in the future.”

Pranab Sarkar, IJU’s All-India Joint Secretary and Agartala Press Club Secretary, has condemned the NIA’s “mistreatment” of Manipur’s senior reporter and demanded an investigation into the incident .