Shillong Times Editor Attacked
"The attack on journalists have increased in India over the past few years"
April 19, 2018
Yet another attack on journalists reported as two men on a motorcyle hurled petrol bombs at the residence of Padma Shri award winning writer, activist and journalist Patricia Mukhim in Shillong, Meghalaya on Tuesday evening.
Thankfully, she escaped unhurt. The police arrived on the spot and started investigation. According to local media, at around 8.30 pm two motorcycle- borne youths whose faces were covered, were seen hurling the petrol bomb.
“Preliminary investigation, two unidentified men came on a motor bike, parked the bike ahead of the house. One of the men got down from the bike and lobbed a kerosene bomb targeted at her bedroom,” East Khasi Hills SP Davies Marak told local reporters.
Mukhim, a multiple award winning journalist who has been very vocal against certain issues termed the incident as shocking. She demanded that culprits must be booked. She also thanked the police for prompt action.
“Thank you Meghalaya Police for responding with alacrity. SP East Khasi Hills, Davies Marak, thank you for coming personally. The team from Rynjah Police station thank you for quick response. My appeal to Meghalaya Police and Crime Branch is to please nab these culprits and restore public confidence,” she said.
Mukhim added that the criminals are getting away too easily. Police should take every case of arson and attack on press freedom with the seriousness it deserves. “Please rise to the occasion…,” she said.
Media fraternity and civil society have condemned the attack. The Shillong Press Club and Journalists Forum, Assam (JFA) among others have strongly condemned the act.
Shillong Press Club president, David Laitphlang urged the authorities to leave no stone unturned in tracking and nabbing those responsible for this cowardly act. The Press Club demanded exemplary punishment to the miscreants involved in the incident.
JFA secretary Nava Thakuria based in Guwahati said that this incident should be treated very seriously and the police must ensure that this is the last such incident of attack on journalist.
“This is a serious threat to freedom of speech. We condemn it and urge the police and administration to act as fast as possible to bring some results,” said Thakuria.
Attack on journalists is not new in this region. Journalists have been one of the worst victims in the police atrocity or otherwise. At least 32 journalists were killed in Assam in the last 30 years. However, not a single culprit was punished or booked.
Apart from that two journalists who were murdered in Tripura in 2017 are yet to get justice. The new government in Tripura has handed over the cases to the CBI.
Twenty eight year old Santanu Bhowmik who worked for Deen Raat, a local news channel, was abducted and hacked to death while he was covering a political clash between Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and CPM’s tribal wing Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP) at Mandwai, some 25 kilomtre from state capital Agartala. The incident took place in September 2017.
After that in November in the same year another journalist Sudip Datta Bhaumik was allegedly shot by a jawan of the 2nd Tripura State Rifles (TSR) at RK Nagar, about 20 kilometre from Agartala. There has been no progress in these cases, and no arrests.
First published in The Citizen.
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