Group of 20-15 local Congress workers planned to Rameshwar and vandalised his residence and other properties.
Guwahati: Condemnations pour in over the incident of assaults on a Manipur scribe allegedly by some opposition Congress workers on Sunday (October 24) morning at his residence in Heirok area under the Thoubal district.
Various political parties, civil society organisations, media outfits also wished for the early recovery of Elangbam Rameshwar, who works as a rural correspondent of Naharolgi Thoudang regional daily, which is published from Imphal.
BJP’s Thoubal district unit strongly condemned the assault on the reporter and appealed to the government to punish the individuals involved in the barbaric act at the earliest. Thoubal district working journalists’ union, Manipur hills journalists’ union, All Manipur Working Journalists Union, etc., vehemently condemned the assault on the scribe by a group of goons.
Rameshwar’s family and well-wishers claimed that the handiwork was masterminded by some local Congress workers, who came in a group of 20 to 25 with masked faces and targeted the reporter. The assailants also vandalised his residence and other properties.
According to the family members, the group came to meet Rameshwar and then, after some debates, and they started hitting him while showing his newspaper. Later, when the neighbours came to rescue him, they fled.
Injured scribe Rameshwar was initially hospitalised at the Thoubal district hospital and later shifted to JNIMS hospital in Imphal, where he is slowly recovering from wounds.
Indian Journalist Union (IJU) has also strongly condemned the incident of assault on Rameshwar, which is understood to be related to the forthcoming State legislative assembly polls in Manipur, and urged the State chief minister N. Biren Singh to book the culprits under the law.
“Assault on a scribe for his works is nothing but an attack on freedom of the press. The concerned authority must ensure identifying the culprits to punish under the provision of laws,” said a statement issued by IJU president K. Sreenivas Reddy and secretary-general Balwinder Singh Jammu added that the political parties must adhere to the principle of respecting the public voices, which may not be favourable for them, especially when the State is going for the polls.
Meanwhile, the journalists organised a sit-in protest program at Heirok Bazar on Tuesday, where the reporter’s wife, Elangbam Sanatombi, also participated and appealed to the common people to join in the protest so that journalists can be protected from such physical attacks in future. The demonstrators chanted slogans like ‘we condemn assault on scribe’, ‘punish the culprits’, ‘we want peace’, etc.