Monday, July 07, 2008

Journalists take out rally in Gangtok to protect attack on fellow scribes

Media fraternity demand immediate arrest of culprits

GANGTOK, July 06:
Journalists affiliated to various organizations yesterday picketed outside the Police Headquarters here in protest against the assault on local journalists on July 4 and sought swift action to bring the culprits to book.
The journalists also took out a silent rally from the Press Club of Sikkim here and marched through the Mahatma Gandhi Marg to the Central Referral Hospital in Tadong demanding strong action against the culprits.
The media persons wore black armbands and carried banners and hoardings condemning the attack and seeking an assurance from the State government that the right of expression of the media would be protected.
The rally saw a huge participation from all the working journalists from local and national newspapers including representatives from news agencies, publishers and editors.
Later, a group of journalist headed by president of the Press Club, CD Rai met with the Director General of Police, C M Ravindran and Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), range, Akshay Sachdeva.
The team not only demanded immediate arrest of the culprits but also assured to cooperate with the Police.
While assuring to do their best to nab the assailants, the DGP said that a special investigating team has been formed by the Sikkim Police headed by SP East to carry out the investigation.
Earlier in the day, the DGP and DIG Range visited the spot of crime and met the injured journalists in the Hospital.
A meeting was also held at office of the Press Club today, which was attended by working journalists, editors and the entire publishers of all the local dailies and the local cable television.
The Press Club unanimously decided to submit a memorandum to the DGP and State Home Secretary on July 7 demanding that suspected accused involved in the Friday night attack at Hamro Prajasakhti office which has been named by the victims be detained for interrogations by the investigating team of Sikkim Police within 24 hours of submitting the letter.
The Press Club has also resolved that should the arrest not be affected by the said time, the newspapers and all the news agencies will boycott all the government functions and ignore all the government press releases until the case is solved.
A team of Press Club along with the working journalists will be meeting with the DGP and the Home Secretary tomorrow.
Among the seven injured, Bijay Gurung, Shekhar Khawas and Anup Rai are undergoing medical treatment at the Central Referral Hospital. The other four, including publisher and editor, Hamro Prajashakti, Anjan Upadhaya have been discharged from the Hospital.
In another form of protest, a peace dharna was called by the working journalists and editors here today morning.
Seven journalists associated with the Nepali daily, Hamro Prajashakti and Himalayan Mirror, were seriously injured when a group of masked men in black leather jackets and armed with iron rods and hammers entered the newspaper office located at Gairi Gaon, Tadong and attacked journalists working there.
The incident occurred at about 8:30 pm on July 4. The case was registered at Sadar Thana under section 307/147/148/149 (attempt to murder and rioting) of the IPC.
Later, talking with SIKKIM EXPRESS, Anjan Upadhaya said that the Police met him this morning to get some details on the assailants. The Police also met other victims in the Hospital. Mr. Uphadaya also demanded the Police to interrogate the suspects named by him.
DIG Range, Akshay Sachdeva told SIKKIM EXPRESS said that the investigations are on. “Till now, we have interrogated six suspected persons. More suspects will be rounded up for further interrogation,” he said. The DIG Range also assured to bring to culprits to book as soon as possible.