Thursday, June 1, 2023

Manipur scribes’ leader harassed by NIA



Scribe bodies in Manipur have been angered after president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) Wangkhemcha Shamjai was summoned and interrogated by National Investigation Agency (NIA) at its office in Imphal.
Scribe bodies alleged that Shamjai was harassed and treated like an accused
When the NIA summoned and interrogated him on Tuesday (August 2) which
Shamjai said he received a phone call from an officer of NIA on July 31, asking him to turn up at their office at 10 am of August 2.
With an intention to co-operate with the agency’s investigation, he turned up on time. However, to his utter surprise, he was left in a small room without any communication till an officer began interrogating him around noon.
He was then hurled with uncomfortable and unrelated queries in another room and also intimidated by the NIA sleuths. The interrogation continued till around 5 pm, AMWJU president alleged.
Protesting against the alleged harassment meted out to Shajai, members of the three bodies of scribes -AMWJU, Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union (MHIU) – submitted a joint memorandum to the state Governor in Imphal’s Raj Bhavan Copies of the memoranda were also furnished to the Union home minister, Manipur chief minister, Press Council of India (PCI) and Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) as well.
In the memorandum, the scribes’ bodies expressed shock and disappointment at the manner in which the AMWJU president was summoned by NIA and treated like an accused person at its Imphal office on August 2, 2022.
A joint emergency meeting of three bodies convened at Manipur Press Club, Imphal today expressed strong resentment on such treatment meted out to Shamjai.
The meeting resolved to submit memoranda highlighting such a painful episode to the Union home minister, Manipur Governor, Manipur chief minister, Press Council of India (PCI) and Indian Journalists’ Union (UU).
The meeting further decided to hold a protest demonstration in Imphal tomorrow on August 4 to strongly denounce of the interference of the NIA with the media community.
In the memorandum, the scribe bodies stated that they took the matter seriously as such excesses of the NIA was an insult and a big challenge to the independence of the media.
“Nevertheless, we as law abiding and responsible citizens have been cooperating with any investigation taken up by the law enforcing/investigating agencies,” it asserted. “And, we will continue to do so in future,” the bodies added in the memorandum. This being the case, the three bodies, in the joint memorandum’ urged upon the Union home minister, Manipur Governor and chief minister to look into the matter and take necessary actions to ensure the media fraternity is not further harassed by the NIA or any other investigating agencies in future.


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