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,
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
“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.
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
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.