The media fraternity in Manipur on Wednesday staged a protest against the pressure mounted by a militant group in connection with the publication of news relating to the outfit. Publication of daily papers and local channels were also halted to protest against “intimidation” of media.
Journalists at the protest–jointly organised by the All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) and Editors Guild Manipur (EGM) at the Manipur Press club–demanded freedom of press.
Prior to the protest, an emergency general body meeting was held at the press club wherein the fraternity unanimously resolved not to entertain any news relating to the particular outfit until their internal crisis was resolved.
It was decided to resume publication from Thursday. Initially, the AMWJU and EGM decided to cease publication indefinitely after the media houses were in a quandary following the pressure from the outfit.
A top executive of AMWJU, who doesn’t want to be named, said that the media house came under immense pressure from a militant group with regards to publication and non-publication of news. While he said that the situation was the fallout of an internal crisis within the outfit, he declined to name the outfit. “We are caught in between the devil and the deep blue sea”, he said.
In Manipur, media has often had to face militant diktats and threats. In 2000, the state witnessed the biggest protest from the media fraternity when newspapers halted publication for more than 10 days as a mark of protest.