Mizoram: MJA seeks Justice for Jounalists

News 18 journo Emmy was brutally assaulted by Assam Police
while covering the protests of Mizo students in Bairabi,
Assam-Mizoram border on 10 March 2018. - News 18
Aizawl, March 12, 2018: In two separate incidents 7 journalists were brutally assaulted by Assam Police at Zophai, near Assam border recently who had gone to cover the stand-off between Mizo Zirlai Pawl and the Assam Police. Due to the malady the Mizoram Journalists’ Association (MJA) General Headquarter called a General Body meeting which is rarely held unless critical situation arises.  The meeting was held at 12:30 PM, Aizawl Press Club Conference Hall. The assembly decided to pass a resolution as follows:

The General Body Meeting on the 12th of March 2018 unanimously agreed to the following points.

1.     In spite of the fact that Mizoram Journalists’ Association (MJA) General Headquarters’ Press Release on 8.3.2018 condemning the brutal assault of journalists during the altercation between Mizo Zirlai Pawl and the Assam Police stating our anger on the assault of two (2) journalists by the Assam Police at Zophai near Assam border 5 more journalists including 2 female journalists were mercilessly assaulted by Assam police force. This incident happened one day after the PR was released. The journalists  were beaten with lathis by the police while the journalists were executing a ground report  as tension escalated between  Mizo Zirlai Pawl and the Assam police; shots were even fired towards the crowd.  The journalists had their press identification cards on them which was quite visible to the naked eye; apart from that they verbally identified themselves saying that they were media persons but their plea were in vain. The Assam Police were armed with guns.

2.     On the 8th of March 2018 journalists had gone Zophai to perform a ground report as tension between Mizo Zirlai Pawl and Assam Police rose which led to a lathi charge. Despite of their repeated appeals and identifying themselves that there were journalists by displaying their press identity cards to the Assam Police 5 journalists were relentlessly beaten with lathis. One of the journalist suffered concussion on the temple, back and had difficulty moving his arm, while others were bruised on the neck and several parts of their body.  One of the police threatened a journalist with a gun. They were taken to various hospitals to get their wounds treated and for further treatment.  The Assam Police damaged a motor cycle belonging to one of the injured journalist; there was a sticker on the motor cycle which clearly indicates that the owner was a media person.

Mizos protest against the barbaric acts of
Assam Police against innocent students &
Journalists. - via social media.
3.     The MJA General Headquarter is deeply wounded by the acts of the Assam Police as we feel that it is the duty of authorities/police forces to protect media persons during conflict ground reporting instead of assaulting them. It is truly a shame that the police did not even consider the female journalists who were in the line of duty on the ground of gender which clearly indicates that their lack of compassion.

4.     We demand that the Assam Government should find out the culprits and be given punishment they truly deserve; to compensate the victims and to compensate the damage done to the mentioned motor cycle.

5.     All the victims have lodged FIR’s and have undergone medical verification; some of them are receiving treatment. The MJA General Headquarter will be pursuing the matter at all forums possible.  True accounts and evidences of how the Assam Police assaulted the journalist would be send to The Prime Minister of India, The Press Council of India, The MoS of Home Ministry, the DONER Minister,  the Chief Minister of Assam, the Women’s Commission, the Chief Minister of Mizoram and other dignitaries. The Association will take up the matter till justice is done to the journalists.

6.     The MJA truly fears for the safety of journalists during these kinds of conflicts and that more measure should be taken by all authorities across the country as journalism has no border.

7.     MJA will be organizing a sit-in demonstration to express their plight on the 13.3.2018  in front of  Vanapa Hall from 12 noon onwards.

General Secretary
MJA General Headquarter
Treasury Square
Mizoram Aizawl


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