Forty-five days after their cadres murdered journalist Nemichand Jain in Sukma on February 12,Maoists have apologised for the act and said their topmost leaders are handling the case. They have also requested Bastar journalists to end their boycott.
In an unprecedented step,the entire media fraternity in Bastar had passed a resolution announcing the boycott of Maoists and their press releases until they apologised for the murder and punished the guilty.
The rebels called a few journalists to interior forests of Bijapur and apologised for Jains death. West Bastar divisional committee,CPI (Maoists),members Kamlu Kunjam and Jyoti met the journalists and said: We have received information about the murder of Jain by some Sangham members of Kanger Ghati area. Since we are yet to identify the accused,senior leaders are facing problems in taking a decision. But very soon,the central committee will probe the matter and inform media about it. Some of our cadres have committed this wrong. We apologise and request you not to boycott us.
Kunjam added: Lower-level cadres committed the act without informing the senior ones. The committee will announce punishment for them.
Jagdalpur-based journalist Harjit Singh Pappu was among those who met the rebels. We had gone for our cause. We are happy that they have apologised. I hope they punish the culprits soon and inform us, he told The Indian Express.