Shillong: The Shillong Press Club and the Journalist Union of Meghalaya expressed their collective shock, pain and anger at the repugnant language and unbecoming conduct of Mr Daniel Thangkhiew, a contractual Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya. Conrad Sangma.
Thangkhiew allegedly called senior reporter of The Shillong Times (ST), Afaque Hussain cheap and verbally abused him in a telephonic conversation. Afaque had called to enquire about an accident at Malki Point at 11:30 pm on Wednesday. Afaque reached out to Thangkhiew as VVIPs were reportedly involved in the accident.
The Shillong Press Club President issued a statement on Friday condemning his behaviour.
PC president, David Laitphang said, “Mr Hussain was simply discharging his professional duties in the public interest, for which he was verbally attacked most viciously by Mr Thangkhiew, as required by his organization and this led him to make the phone call to enquire and confirm the series of events, which has been made all the more difficult as the state police have practically swept the accident involving the brand-new, unregistered high-end SUV under the carpet while now claiming that the matter was resolved in a short amount of time between the driver/owner of the vehicle and the shop owner.”
The statement further adds, “If no VVIP was involved, then why should the police be in such a hurry to settle matters, when it occurred at midnight well after the promulgation of curfew? The fact that it occurred after midnight did not stop Mr Thangkhiew from reportedly rushing to the scene even though he became agitated and then repeatedly berated Mr Hussain for calling him at 11:30 pm.”
In the case of the accident it is alleged that neither an FIR nor even a GD entry was made and the vehicle responsible for the crash was taken away.
“The Shillong Press Club extends its solidarity to Afaque Hussain and wishes him Godspeed in his mission to serve the people while reiterating its strong condemnation to any force that tries to berate and coerce free speech and factual reporting,” reads the SPC statement.