New Delhi: Expressing grave concern over death threats to editors and working journalists in Manipur from some underground and banned organisations, Press Council of India has sought a report from the state government regarding the matter. Taking suo-motu cognisance of the incidents, the panel is also contemplating sending a sub-committee to assess the situation.
“PCI Chairman Justice C K Prasad has expressed grave concern over the death threats to editors and working journalists in Manipur from some underground and banned organisations in the recent days and sought a report from the Government of Manipur on the issue,” the Council said in a press statement.
Justice Prasad said any diktat to the editors or working journalists for publication or non-publication of news by state or non-state players amounted to “invasion of the news room” and it “violated freedom” of the press guaranteed under the Constitution.
The action follows the reports of death threats received by Impact TV Editor-in-Chief Yumnam Rupachandra Singh from a militant organisation for not broadcasting a press note issued by it. Concerned over their safety and threat to freedom of press, all the newspapers left blank space in the editorial column on 16 December and closed down publication of newspapers and stopped broadcast of news on 17 December.
Terming it as “unacceptable” in a democratic society, Justice Prasad said the Press Council of India, a statutory body mandated to protect freedom of the press in the country, had taken suo-motu cognisance of the threats to the media and media personnel in Manipur.
It will thereafter explore the possibility of sending a sub-committee to assess the situation in Manipur and surrounding states, he said.