AMWJU president advises IJU to stay away from Kishorchand’s issueIMPHAL | Dec 21
The acting president of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union, Brozendra Ningomba, has written to the Indian Journalists Union, IJU, givign his version of the matter of the arrest of Kishorchandra Wangkhem, a former TV anchor employed by the ISTV, and clarified why a great section of media in the state is silent.
He also warned the IJU not to interfere lest AMWJU may withdraw its affiliation with the IJU.
He termed the issue as a ‘non-issue’ and that no one wants to talk about it. He also pointed out that justice keepers are also the civil organisations and the insurgents and pointed out their lack of support on this issue.
He hints that since there is no support from civil organisations and the underground rebels, the issue of Kishorchandra lacks merit.
It is pertinent to note that one of the grounds for detention of Kishorchand is the interpretation by the Imphal West district magistrate that Kishorchand’s expression amounted to endorsing militant group operating in Manipur and hence terming it seditious. The para reads, “You (Kishorchand) further claimed in your post that Rani Jhansi’s birth anniversary celebration in Manipur is a total nuisance and that the very act of the Chief Minister of Manipur celebrating such occasion in the state is an insult to the freedom strugglers of Manipur, which means that you spoke and acted in support of the militant/terrorist organisation presently operating in Manipur thereby showing your seditious attitude and leaning towards unlawful organisations.”
Brozendro also said that aside from some papers, most of the editors of the State do not want to put the issue in the media but feels that the matter should be fought in the court. He lamented that the national media are not doing otherwise.
He also wrote that his staff, Kishorchandra is not a journalist but just a news reader and translator for ISTV.
Brozendra had led a protest rally demanding Kishorchandra’s arrest in August last where he apologised to the chief minister on Kishorchandra’s behalf to secure his release.
It may be noted Kishorchandra detention under National Security Act for 12 months for criticising the BJP led Manipur Government has been condemned from various quarters including Journalist bodies like Indian Journalist Union (IJU), Press Council India (PCI) etc.
The IJU in a press release on December 3 had said that the Union does not approve the vulgar and indecent terms used by Wangkem Kishorchandra but the freedom of expression includes the right to offend. The Union, however, advised its journalists affiliated to body, to avoid vulgar language while posting critiques on social media.
The IJU demanded that the NSA detention be revoked and ensure unconditional release for Kishorchandra. It may be mentioned that All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) is affiliated to IJU.
He further urged the IJU not to release any press statement about the arrested scribe saying that it will not make any headway in the State government and is useless. He also said that the condemnation letter of the IJU demanding Kishorchandra’s release has ruffled feathers in the media fraternity of the State, and threatened to pull out of the mother union (IJU).
From reliable sources, it was learnt that the letter written by Brozendra Ningomba to IJU was not in consultation with any standing members of the Union nor a meeting was called to discuss the matter. It was all done at the president’s own behest only, a standing committee member confirmed. Some AMWJU members including Paojel Chaoba of IFP appraised president Ningomba on the whatsapp group of AMWJU that if consultation was done in this matter. Further, that the stance of the president cannot be equated with the opinion of its members. The complainant was removed immediately from the AMWJU Whatsapp group.
It is learnt from a reliable source, that some of the members are likely to move a no confidence motion against the acting president of AMWJU.
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