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Shillong media to boycott CM

G. Vinayak in Guwahati | June 12, 2005 20:35 IST

The media practitioners in Meghalaya capital Shillong have decided to boycott any news related to the state's Chief Minister D. D. Lapang and his deputy Mukul Sangma, who is in-charge home until the government tenders its unconditional apology and withdraws first information reports filed against journalists.

On Saturday journalists lodged a formal complaint in this regard with Governor M. M. Jacob, who assured to take up the matter with the state government.

Senior journalists like Manas Chaudhuri, editor, The Shillong Times, who is also an independent legislator from a constituency in Shillong, M.A.Venugopal, executive editor of another English daily, The Meghalaya Guardian were questioned and harassed by police on charges of trying to fan communal tension in Shillong by carrying news reports on 'quit notice' to the Khasi community at Lumdorbar in the disputed Block II area in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.

People of the Khasi community have been fleeing the disputed area for the past fortnight on the boundary between Assam and Meghalaya following quit notices issued to them by the majority Karbi community.

Though Chaudhuri refused to accompany the police and gave a written statement saying that he was unaware of the details of the report and would be able to respond only after consulting his reporters, Venugopal, was interrogated for not less than four hours in police headquarters. Journalist Suraj Joshi of the same paper was also interrogated.

Again, on Saturday morning, EM Jose, chief reporter of The Shillong Times, was taken to the police headquarters where he was interrogated and his statement taken on the said events; he was accused by the police interrogators of seeking to enflame communal passions in Shillong.

Various FIRs have also been lodged against journalists and cases filed under Sections 502 and 153 A of the IPC.

It was demanded that the state government order an unconditional withdrawal of FIRs and cases filed against members of the media. 

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