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Manipur journos lift cease-work after militant groups deny hand in grenade attack

The decision was taken at a general body meeting of journalists at the Manipur Press Club in the state capital.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
February 18, 2021 9:29:11 pm
A hand grenade was thrown inside the office of a local newspaper ‘Poknapham’ in Imphal.

The protesting Manipur journalists on Thursday agreed to lift the cease-work on news publication and broadcast after major militant groups in the state claimed that they were not involved in the recent grenade attack on the office of a local newspaper.

The decision was taken at a general body meeting of journalists at the Manipur Press Club in the state capital on Thursday. It was also decided that the agitating media persons will return to work from Friday.

Khogendra Khomdram, president, Editor’s Guild Manipur (EGM), told indianexpress.com, “We have decided to end our protest as almost all the militant groups clarified that they were not involved in the attack. We also considered the inconvenience to the public who have been deprived of information because of the protest.”

However, the EGM president said that the local media fraternity will continue to build pressure on the government to bring the perpetrator of the attack to book.

The meeting also condemned the state’s failure to track down the culprit despite being served a 48-hour ultimatum to do so.

Speaking at the Assembly, Chief Minister N Biren Singh had said that CCTV footage gathered from nearby areas show an unidentified person driving up in a scooter and lobbing a hand grenade on the office of the local newspaper. Thankfully, however, no injuries were reported in the attack as the shell failed to explode.

Voicing concern over the incident, the EGM and All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) decided to suspend news broadcast and publication till the culprit is nabbed and local journalists are assured safety.

Day after the incident, the media fraternity, under the aegis of the EGM and AMWJU, resolved to go on a cease-work protest, prolonging the news blackout. It demanded that the motive for the attack be probed and those responsible be acted upon.

While police registered an FIR, the government set up a four-man Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by SP, Imphal West, to probe the incident.

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