IMPHAL, Jan 6: The arrest of vice president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and editor of Sanaleibak daily A Mobi by the police was an attempt to blot the image of journalists working in the State, MPP vice president Y Mangi has stated.
Talking to mediapersons, Mangi, who is also in-charge of the party president, said such an attempt was very unfortunate and suspension of publication of newspapers in Manipur for some days on account of the confrontation between the police and AMWJU was a great loss to the people of Manipur.
Pointing out that there is a sea of difference between what the police said in the charges levelled against Mobi and what Mobi himself had to say, Mangi asserted that this has shown the failure of the police to substantiate the charges levelled against Mobi.
Leaving aside the plight of the common people, such conduct of the police has caused suspicion whether the State Government is trying to gag the media as well, Mangi added.
He said that Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh ought to come out with an explanation on the media report that Rs 50,000 that the police commando claimed to have been recovered from Mobi have actually been brought by the commandos themselves.
Recalling the instances of UGs being arrested along with arms from the quarters of Ministers and MLAs in Babupara some years back and the killing of SDO Dr Thingnam Kishan and Rishikanta of Imphal Free Press, Mangi demanded to know what actions the Government have taken up in these cases.
Arrest and detention of editor Mobi by cooking up some false charges was an attempt to tarnish the image of journalists, he lamented, while pointing out that the Government is supposed to protect mediapersons and allow them to work without any fear and intimidation.
Continuing his tirade against the Government, Mangi charged that the ruling Congress led SPF Government has been more interested in getting their share from contract works and supplies instead of taking up necessary measures to improve the law and order situation in the State.
In such a situation, the State has been going backward in terms of development, he added.