Manipur scribes protest threat issued by militant group

     All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) has staged a protest rally condemning repeated threats issued by a militant group to media professionals working in the state. Deeming all individual threats to journalist as collective threat to the profession, the union staged the sit in protest in Imphal's Keishampat Junction to decry the KCP-MC's actions. In a passionate display of solidarity with their colleagues, members of the AMWJU lashed out at the Lanheiba faction of the Kangleipak Communist Party-Military Council (KCP-MC) for intimidating journalists. The union members also closed down all vernacular press offices and broadcasters in the city. Members of the union unequivocally condemned the absolute suppression of press freedom in the region, by saying that obstructing scribes from working was a barbaric and dictatorial trend to control and abuse the flow of information in a democracy. "The threat was imposed by the militant faction four to five days back. Initially, they had apologised to us. However, despite their apology, they have again threatened us with physical harm and have warned us of fatal consequences. We oppose their actions by staging a sit-in protest," said Michael, a journalist. The Lanheiba faction of the KCP-MC had allegedly issued strong statements against the spokesperson of the union A. Mobi, who is also an editor of a vernacular daily in Imphal. Calling the words used by the KCP-MC faction to intimidate Mobi as 'venomous,' the union quoted the outfit as stating "Better have your last meal with your favourite dishes." Retaliating to the stinging threats, the Union maintained that all reactions made by the spokesperson were on behalf of the journalist fraternity in the State and were not personal opinions.

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