Imphal: The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union (MHJU) on Thursday ceased work to protest against the alleged harassment of AMWJU president Wangkhemcha Shamjai by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The demonstration was held at the Manipur Press Club to denounced the interference of the NIA with the media community of the state.

The decision was taken during a joint emergency meeting convened by the bodies at Manipur Press Club on Wednesday after AMWJU president Shamjai was summoned by the NIA and allegedly treated like an accused person at its Imphal office on Tuesday. 

In a memorandum submitted to the Union home minister, Manipur chief minister, Press Council of India (PCI) and Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU), the bodies expressed shock and disappointment over the alleged harassment and expressed strong resentment on the treatment meted out to Shamjai.

According to the bodies, Shamnai received a phone call from an officer of NIA asking him to turn up at their office at 10 am on Tuesday.

“With a clear mind to cooperate with the agency’s investigation, Shamjai turned up on time. However, to his utter surprise, he was left in a small room without being interacted till one officer began interrogating him around noon. He was then hurled with uncomfortable and unrelated queries in another room,” stated the unions.

According to Shamjai, he was also intimidated by the NIA sleuths during the interrogation that continued till around 5 pm, the bodies alleged.

“We seriously take such excesses of the NIA as an insult and a big challenge to the independence of the media. Nevertheless, we as law abiding and responsible citizens have been cooperating with any investigation taken up by the law enforcement and investigating agencies. And, we will continue to do so in future,” it stated.

The media bodies further urged the concerned authority to look into the matter and take necessary actions to ensure the media fraternity is not further harassed by the NIA or any other investigating agencies in future.

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