Imphal, July 4 (IANS) A three-member team of the Press Council of India (PCI) arrived here on Monday for a three-day visit, during which they will study the ground realities of the problems journalists face from security forces and insurgents and formulate some guidelines for the media in the insurgency-afflicted northeastern region.
The members of the PCI sub committee are Ravindra Kumar who is also editor of The Statesman, Kasuri Amarnath and C.K. Neikareni.
Ravindra Kumar told reporters at the Tulihal international airport that the sub-committee shall formulate some guidelines which may be approved by the PCI for implementation in the region.
“The ball was set rolling in Nagaland when some underground organisations forced the press to publish their handouts and these were not to the liking of the government.
“In Manipur, the NIA (National Investigation Agency) was not amused by the coverage of the underground news. The government issued a notification asking the media to abide by the PCI recommendations on the matter. It is against the freedom of the press guaranteed by the constitution if the press is restrained in publishing news,” he said.
During their stay, the sub-committee members shall talk with the Manipur government representatives, officials of the security forces and journalists.
“Press in most of the northeastern states is sandwiched between the government and the insurgents over the publication of the underground reports and sub-committee shall try to find a way out,” said Ravindra Kumar.
The sub-committee members have appealed to the journalists in Manipur to come and narrate their experiences. Some editors and journalists in Manipur were killed and others injured. Police, army and paramilitary personnel had also beat up and harassed bona fide reporters on several occasions.