July 22


Protect the fourth pillar of democracy’

Journalists, students demand speedy probe

SHILLONG, Jul 21: Journalists in Meghalaya today staged a rally against the attack on the Associate Editor of The Arunachal Times, Tongam Rina and demanded a speedy probe to nab the culprit/s, reports PTI.

Jointly organized by the Shillong Press Club and the Arunachal Students Union, Shillong the demonstration started from the ITBP headquarters at Rhino point and ended with a sit-in demonstration in front of Arunachal Bhavan.

The members condemned the "repeated atrocities" being committed on the press fraternity even as they demand immediate arrest of those involved in the attack on Tongam on Sunday last when she was entering her office.

Three months ago the office of Arunachal Times was vandalized and one and half years ago, two women reporters of Sentinel Arunachal were attacked in Itanagar while on an assignment, student leader P A Muklom said.

"An attack against the press is an attack against the Constitution," prominent journalist Prasad Gupta said.

The South Asia Women in Media (SAWM) had expressed that it is "disturbed" by the increasingly dangerous climate in which media professionals function in South Asia and is especially concerned about the "poor security" given to women journalists.

The banners festoons/placards were sponsored by Sikkim Manipal University (SMU), Shillong Director Gagan Jain and Shillong Press Club.

Donning black cloths and blindfolds, the Bagang Abu Youth Welfare Society’ (BAYWS) and Upper Subansiri Youth Federation today protested against the attack on the Associate Editor of The Arunachal times at Daporijo.

They shouted slogans for protecting the rights of freedom of expression and respecting media and media persons in Arunachal Pradesh.

Terming its as barbaric and dastardly act, both the organizations stressed on bringing awareness among masses of the importance of media in the state, which plays a vital role for socio-economic upliftment of the  society. They further urged the people of Arunachal Pradesh  to cooperate and protect the fourth pillar of democracy for the betterment and modern Arunachal.



It is an attack on democracy and humanity”

Home dept seeks time to complete the investigation in scribe attack case

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: The Home Department and its officials are working round the clock to make a breakthrough in the case wherein the Associate Editor of The Arunachal Times was shot at on July 15.

The Government, particularly the Home Department, is aware of the hurt sentiments of the common citizens after the attack on senior journalist Tongam Rina, the Parliamentary Secretary (Home), Gadam Ete said in a press statement.

The Chief Minister is constantly monitoring the progress of the investigation by holding review meetings everyday. Special and specific directives have been issued to the investigating officials to treat the case as special one and therefore leave no stones unturned to solve it immediately, it said.

While respecting the sentiments of the people and appreciating the concern expressed by civil society organizations, we have to humbly put in that the government is doing all it can. We admit and recognize the outburst of emotion through dharnas, processions and vigils as genuine but at the same time the position of the government and sensitivity of the case at hand has also to be understood and appreciated. My sincere appeal to the people is to maintain peace, keep patience and give time to the police to complete the investigation.

Since the attack on the journalist there have been continuous protest marches and dharnas across the state, particularly in the state capital. This has hampered in the smooth and speedy conduction of the investigation. Since 15 July most of the police personnel and officers of the Capital are engaged in overseeing peaceful conductions of protest marches, dharnas and agitations. Thus, the energy and focus of the police department has been diverted away from the case hampering the investigation process, it claimed.

At this moment of a huge challenge everybody of us – the government, police department, civil society organizations and the citizens, including the victim and her family – have to work together and only focus on the sole aim of nabbing the culprit and provide justice to the journalist.

“The person who shot at the journalist is a plain criminal. He or she cannot be recognized as a member of any community, religion, caste, creed or region. At the same time the journalist belongs to whole of Arunachal Pradesh. She has been an honest and upright journalist serving the people and the state. Attack on her is not an attack on a particular community, tribe, religion or region. This is an attack on every law abiding and concerned citizen of the state. It is an attack on democracy and humanity”.

“Therefore, it is the duty of each and every right thinking citizen to ignore, dissuade and even force any such forces attempting to give the incident any other color than what it is - a plain inhuman act of a criminal.  It is not a time or incident to be given a communal, political or regional color”.  

My sincere appeal to everybody is not to let our aim get diverted and give a free hand to the police to complete the investigation.  Chief Minister has already given a time-frame to the police to solve the case and nab the culprit. Once the identity of the culprit or culprits is established their arrest is imminent.

The Chief Minister has also kept the options open to hand over the investigation to other competent agencies in case the state police failed to do so in a specific time frame. Till date, the state police through its investigations has expressed confidence to crack the case very soon, the statement said.

The Home Parliamentary Secretary, on behalf of the state government, also expressed sincere gratitude to the people of Arunachal for coming up against criminals vociferously on a united platform. He also extended gratitude to R K Mission Hospital authorities, doctors of the Hospital, senior Government Doctors, officials of the Directorate of Health Services, blood donors and all those who stood by Tongam at the most needed hour of her life.

“I also extend my gratitude to the parents of Tongam for their subdued and mature approach to the tragic episode. Their appeal for peace and tranquility would go a long way in helping the government deliver justice to their daughter”.

The Government will be satisfied only when the journalist is fully recovered and back to work and the culprits are behind bars, the Press statement added.



Galo Students Union meets CM on journalist’s shooting case

Journalists are above tribe and community: GSU

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: The members of Galo Students Union (GSU) today called on Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and drew his attention towards growing anti-social activities in the state capital, especially repeated attacks on media persons resulting in assassination attempt of Tongam Rina, Associate Editor of Arunachal Times.  The delegation led by GSU President Gokar Basar and General Secretary Pakmik Taipodia was accompanied by NESO Secretary General Gumjum Haider.

Chief Minister Tuki had invited members of GSU, the apex student body of Galo community to discuss the situation arising out of unfortunate attack on Tongam Rina.

In a memorandum to the CM, the GSU asked for CBI enquiry into the incident and demanded arrest of shooter/s within a week. Apart from it, the union expressed serious concern over repeated attacks on media houses and journalists of the state. They said administration had issued gun license to many persons with criminal background and these persons with the support of powerful people are carrying out criminal activities without fear for law. The GSU said media is only ray of hope for people of Arunachal and Tongam Rina, one of the most fearless journalists of the state is the true voice of the common masses. The union further blamed state government for failing to stop such incident from happening and said that the attack has exposed weakness of capital police in particular.

The Chief Minister Nabam Tuki gave patience hearing to members and assured that his government will take every possible step to nab the culprit/s involved in heinous crime.   Further, the CM stated that if state police fails to arrest culprit/s within a certain stipulated time, the investigation will be handed over to other agencies as per the demand of GSU and other civil society of Arunachal. On their part, Galo Student Union said attack on Tongam Rina has nothing to do with tribe and community, as Rina being virtue of journalist is above tribe and community. The meeting lasted for more than 2 hours.  



Arrest the attacker on scribe soon: Orgs

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: Arunachal Law Students’ Union (ALSU) gave government 10 days to nab the culprit/s involved in the journalist’s shooting case failing which it has threatened to launch democratic movement for improvement of law and order situation in the state.

While reiterating the union’s demand for separation of judiciary from executive for sound and independent judiciary, ALSU claimed that miscreants in the state are allowed to go without any exemplary punishment which has encouraged criminal activities.

ALSU also demanded immediate establishment of a Separate High Court and appointments of the High Court Judge from local indigenous people from Arunachal Pradesh.

Condemning the attempt on life of the journalist, Sherdukpen Employees’ Welfare Association (SEWA) and All Sajolang (Miji) Student's Union (ASSU) urged the State Government to take appropriate measures to arrest the culprit at the earliest and punish as per law. The case should be handed over to CBI enquiry and all pending cases related to attack on journalists and media houses be reopened, ASSU said in a release.

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News Impact

Capital bandh called off

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: Arunachal Pradesh Democratic Youth Association (APDYA) has called off its proposed capital bandh on July 23 and tendered apology for proposing the bandh call saying it realized that bandh call makes life of the people difficult and causes huge economic losses.

While withdrawing the bandh call the Association affirmed before SP Capital Complex that it shall never propose bandh call again in near future.  

Meanwhile, All Arunachal Pradesh Youth Forum and Nyishi Youth Welfare Association today stated that allegations leveled against the director of school education by Arunachal Pradesh Democratic Youth Association are baseless and unfounded. Organizations appealed the association to refrain from leveling baseless allegation without knowing the facts.


Reconsider restriction order: Union

ITANAGAR, Jul 21: All Arunachal Pradesh Motor Transport Workers Union today pleaded the capital district administration to re-consider its restriction imposed in plying of heavy commercial vehicles including Tata Mobile saying that banning of heavy vehicles movement affect the livelihood of many daily wage earners.

In a representation addressed to the Capital administration recently, the Union informed that many Tata Mobile owners are working hard to repay their bank loans. Restriction of movement of Tata Mobile during peak hours indirectly affects the drivers’ salary as the owners have to depend on income of vehicles. The administration has banned movement of trucks and Tata Mobile loaded with bamboo and iron rods from 9.am to 11 am in the morning and 4.pm to 6.pm in the afternoon.