TODAY -
AR men show their heroism by assaulting scribes
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 14: Obviously not satisfied with showing off their gallantry by bashing up hapless women folk, personnel of 18 Assam Rifles posted at Kotlien turned their wrath on a team of reporters who had gone to the spot to cover the story of the rape as well as the protest launched by women folk today.

Our staff reporter who had personally gone to cover the incident has this to say : After the women folk were dispersed at about 3 pm today, the Assam Rifles men turned towards us and asked "Who are you ?" We identified ourselves as reporters, but were instructed, or rather ordered to go inside the post and meet their Saheb.

As asked, we proceeded towards the post but were told that we could go.

We had started walking quite a distance when we were again called to come to the post.

Even as we were making our way towards the post, one AR man with a long sharply pointed bamboo pole came charging at one of us.

He was however stopped by the other personnel.

However that did not stop the AR men from targeting us.

Cameraman of ISTV, G Gagan Sharma was slapped by one jawan across his face, while Th Brojen of Ereibak was also similarly assaulted.

The slap left Gagan dazed for a while and he had to sit down to recover fully.

Once inside the post, the Officer-in-Charge of the post asked or rather ordered us to erase the pictures which we had captured on our cameras.

I suggested that the OC first talk to the PRO of PIB, Rajesh Misra and offered him my mobile.

After a short conversation the topic of erasing the pictures was dropped.

When we conveyed that we wanted to leave, we were told that the Officiating CO of 38 Assam Rifles, Col Goleria was on his way and asked us to meet him.

Col Goleria arrived after about one hour and the first question that he shot at us was, "How are you going to file your report." I replied, "Let the PRO of PIB come as he is on his way.

We also need to discuss the matter with our Editors." Apart from such a crude question, the Colonel then accused us of instigating the villagers to protest ! Finally the PRO, Rajesh Misra along with the president of AMWJU and other members of the Standing Committee of the Union arrived and after some time, we were allowed to leave.

Meanwhile the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union has strongly condemned the assault of the two scribes by AR men posted at Kotlien today.

In a statement, the Union said that an emergency meeting of the Standing Committee of AMWJU was held today evening, where the incident was strongly condemned.

A special meeting has also been convened tomorrow at 11 am at the Manipur Press Club premises to discuss further course of action.

All journalists have been asked to attend the meeting without fail.

AMWJU has also strongly condemned the assault of Aaj Tak correspondent M David near his residence at about 10 pm on February 7 by unidentified persons.

The Kuki Students' Union, Sadar Hills has also strongly condemned the AR for thrashing the women folk and informed that 8 young girls were seriously injured.

The student body also decried the assault and detention of media persons by the AR.


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