Ccpur scribes to cease work, accuse DC
IMPHAL, 22nd May: Strongly reacting against the Churachandpur district DC/DM Pawan Yadav’s order which prohibited the movement of media fraternity including reporters and newspaper distributors (hawkers) in the district, the editors of Zogam Today, Nisin Thuhiltu, Hmasawnna Thar and Lamka Post have decided to suspend publication of newspapers with effect from May 23 until further notice.
In a joint statement, the editors informed that the decision was taken during a crucial emergency meeting of the editors of Churachandpur district-based newspapers under the Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union (MHJU) held on May 21 to deliberate on the emerging situation in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic in the state in general and its sudden spurt during the last two day in the district in particular.
During the meeting, the members present noted with serious concern the increasing number of positive cases in the district and noted that situation may go out of hand unless proactive and strict containment measures are not initiated. The members also noted that though total lockdown was announced and enforced by the Central and state governments during the first three phases of the lockdown, all media-related activities were exempted from its preview.
However, with the announcement of lockdown 4.0 from May 18, the state’s Chief Secretary Dr J Suresh Babu announced cancellation or imposed restriction on movement but with the reminder that the prohibition will not apply to “members of the print and electronic media on production of Identity Cards.”
However, Churachandpur DC Pawan Yadav in his prohibition order dated May 20 ignored the office memorandum of the Chief Secretary pertaining to the media fraternity and no exemption was made. As such, there is disturbance in the movement of reporters and hawkers in discharging their duties. The media houses also noted with regret that the present DC unlike his predecessors, failed to acknowledge the existence of the press. As such, important announcements and notices were not intimated to the newspapers. The mismanagement of the returnees has resulted in the spurting cases of COVID-19 and unless the District Administration takes up corrective steps, the community at large will no longer be safe, the statement added.