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Feeling of insecurity intimidated to state journalist; takes 3 days for condemnation of harassment to ISTV News correspondent

IT News

Imphal, Feb 2,

Intimidation seems to be blowing in the air breath by the state journalists as it takes nearly three days for condemnation on the police harassment meted out by New Delhi based, ISTV News Correspondent, Seram Rojesh. Scribe bodies, instead of acting tough waited for verification of the journalist from the media house where he work to sent out a condemnation note. The police wilderness to the journalist even after providing his identity card was however condemn by the journalist body – the All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) after 2 days.

Following is what Rojesh wrote, which provoke the AMWJU to release a condemnation note:

“I am submitting my report on how I was manhandled and arrested and detained along with the protesters from a goal chakker nearby  Vijay Chowk , New Delhi on 30th January 2019. 

“On 30th January 2019, I went to make a media report  of the public demonstration against Citizen Amendment Bill  at Jantar Mantar  that was organised by six students bodies from Manipur in association with four students organizations in Delhi. I took media coverage for the protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar.

“After the protest demonstration was over at Jantar Mantar, I was invited to make media coverage of another protest that will be held in few minutes later.  So I went there at the protest site at Vijay Chowk and reported the protest demonstration.  The protesters from Manipur including some Meira Paibi leaders had staged a protest at Vijay Chowk and they had burned effigies of the leaders of the central government at that spot.

“As a correspondent, I was video recording the protest. Suddenly, many police and security guards rushed to the protest site and police started lathi charge to the protesters. Since I was recording from a distance of the protest and police lathi charge, some of the police personnel were very conscious that media people were watching the police lathi charge. During the recording, some police forced me to put off the camera at the site of the Vijay Chowk.

“After some time, the protesters were pushed back with lathi charge toward roadside. One student was beaten up by some police personals. I rushed to record it.  Some police shouted at me and asked not to take videos. 

“May be a half kilometre away from Vijay Chowk nearby a metro station, many police personnel from different direction detained all the protesters in a roadside. I was recording them. After around 20 minutes, some police bus came with many police personnel. Police personnel started pushing them; some of them were lathi charged.

“I was recording and explaining how the situation was from the back side. The police were aware that I was recording videos of the arrest.

“My right hand holds my ISTV microphone with ISTV logo and my left hand trying to record my video. Another camera is hanging on my front.  My ISTV Press card is hanging on my neck. Those police knew that I was from media and reporting the arrest.  Some police dragged me, manhandled me and even punched me from the back.  I told them that “Mein Media sey hoon”( I am from Media). One police replied “Media sey kya huwa “ and dragged me and dumped inside the police bus.  They clearly knew that I was reporting and those police did not want me reporting.  The way they dragged me, manhandled me and show their attitude (racial), really made me disappointed. I was detained along with the protesters at Mandir Marg.               

“Inside the Mandir Marg Police Station, I told to one of the police officer who visited inside the police station about the manhandle on me, a media person on duty by the police personnel. It appeared that the said police officer was trying to contact the concerned police personnel but I was not informed anything from that police officer.

“I was released at around 8pm after nearly five hour of detention in the Mandir  Marg police station”.

The writing was addressed to executive members of AMWJU as well as to the Management of the ISTV Network.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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