A scribe was physically assaulted, allegedly by supporters of a drug peddler, at Hatta Golapati Maning Leikai, Imphal East on Thursday night while covering a drive conducted by the state Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and the Youth Athletic Development Association (YADA) in support of ‘War on Drugs’.
The scribe, identified as Wahengbam Johnson of a local vernacular daily, was physically assaulted by supporters of an alleged drug peddler despite identifying himself as a mediaperson.
In continuation of the drive conducted by the BJYM and YADA in support of ‘War on Drugs 2.0’, the joint team conducted a drive at three residences located at Hatta Golapati Maning Leikai on Thursday 10 pm in suspicion of the presence of drug peddlers.
To defend the drug peddlers and interrupt the drive, some of the miscreants, suspected to be supporters of drug peddlers, raised a mob, pelted stones and fired several rounds to disperse the volunteers of BJYM and YADA.
Meanwhile, a team of mediapersons rushed to the spot to cover the incident, While covering the incident, the scribe (Johnson) was nabbed by some miscreants.
According to Johnson, when he was nabbed by some of the miscreants, they asked him if he was part of the drive team.
“As precautionary measure, I wore my ‘Press’ jacket issued by All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) and told them that I was from the media and had come to cover the incident. But instead of listening to my identification as a media person, the miscreants started assaulting me with sticks and bare hands,” he recounted.
He said some volunteers of BJYM, along with some escorts of state BJYM president M Barish Sharma rushed immediately and rescued him.
In the incident, Johnson sustained injuries in his left hand, back and head. He was immediately rushed to JNIMS hospital for first aid. He was later discharged from the hospital.
The drive was continued by the joint team along with a team of Imphal East commandos and apprehended two drug peddlers along with illicit drugs. They were identified as Bogimayum Nazir Khan, 24, and Bogimayum Abbas Khan, 22, both sons of Md Wali Khan.
Soap caps used for packing heroin powder, some plastic vials containing heroin powder and a number of Alzolam tablets were seized from their possession.
The drug peddlers, along with the seizures, have been handed over to Porompat police station for further legal action.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered at Porompat police station against those miscreants involved in assaulting the mediaperson.
Social worker Nongthombam Rajendro alias Boi appealed to the state government to take necessary action against those miscreants involved in assaulting Johnson.
Boi told media at the residence of Johnson at Moirang Kampu Maning Leikai that assaulting a media personnel on duty should be avoided. It is because of media people that we are getting to read daily news, he added.