The Arunachal Age

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Press bodies condemn violence against news channel staff in Assam


In solidarity with its fellow press members of Assam, the press fraternity of Arunachal Pradesh staged a protest rally here today in condemnation to the police brutality at the Prag News channel office and government censorship on Pratidin Times (Assam).

The Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ), Arunachal Press Club (APC), and the Arunachal Electronic and Digital Media Association (AEDMA) has condemned the police, and both the Central and the Assam government for its attempt to muzzle the press from reporting the wide spread protest in Northeast against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 that was passed on December 11.

We want a free press in a democracy like India, we are the voice of the people and press should be allowed to function without any censorship and without any repressive policy, said APUWJ president, Amar Sangno.

Recently, the Union ministry of Information and Broadcasting recently in an advisory to all private television channels has asked it to avoid showing content that could incite violence or cause law and order problems or anti-national feelings.

Also, in a video that has gone viral in social networking sites, police can be seen barging into the premise of the Prag News Channel office in Guwahati and using their batons on the camerapersons of the channel.

The state press bodies also condemned the internet shutdown in several parts of Assam including its capital city, Guwahati, since Wednesday. On Saturday, suspension of internet services was extended for another 48 hours keeping in view the prevailing law and order situation in the state.

Meanwhile, the Editors Guild of India also "deplored the indefensible acts of violence" perpetrated on the employees of Assamese news channel Prag News by police.

Demanding an inquiry to identify those who were involved in the violence against journalists, the Guild said it wants the guilty to be punished.

The Editors Guild also expressed concern over the recent advisory issued by the ministry of information and broadcasting to all private TV channels asking them to desist from broadcasting content that could incite violence.

Editors Guild issued a statement after its attention was drawn to a social media video that shows uniformed policemen running amok outside the Prag News offices, 'targeting cameramen belong to the channel with their batons'.

Security personnel, including Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, had on Thursday barged into the office of Prag News in Guwahati and beat up its staffers with batons during protests against the amended Citizenship Act, a senior official of the channel said.

According to the channel official, the security forces entered the office building and beat up more employees at the reception area.

"It was completely unprovoked and there was no reason for them to enter a media office. We demand an unconditional apology from Assam police," Prag News managing editor Pranoy Bordoloi said on Friday. (Agencies inputs)


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