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PCI takes suo motu cognizance with regard to militant threats to Manipur journalists

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IMPHAL, Dec 23: The Press Council of India, Chairman Hon’ble Justice Shri C.K. Prasad has expressed grave concern over the death threats to the 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.
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 Mr. 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 cognizance 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.

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