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What Made Media Houses To Go On Strike In Manipur?

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Manipur Media Crisis | News Aur Chai

Journalists in Manipur had decided to sit on a strike at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai on the 14th of February 2021 from 11 am to 3 pm. The All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) and the Editors Guild Manipur (EGM) passed a resolution that claimed the halt on publications and broadcast all over the state. News channels would lay washed out, and newspaper stands empty.

The Backstory Behind the Brawl

On the 13th of February 2021, ‘Poknapham’, the most widely distributed regional newspaper of Manipur and its sister publication ‘The People’s Chronicle’ at Keishampat came under attack. Around 6.30 pm that day, a grenade was used to bombard their office in Imphal. CCTV footage reveals that the attacker was a woman who came driving over a two-wheeler.

The grenade didn’t explode due to the public’s presence, but there was widespread chaos all over. Security personnel sent covered the area of attack to avoid further turmoil.

The Emergency of Protesting

The unsettling grenade incident triggered the need for a demonstration. The Editor’s Guild Manipur (EGM) and All Manipur Working Journalist’s Union (AMWJU) arrived upon a decision late on the night of the attacks, i.e., the 13th of February, 2021. They decided to go on a 48-hour work strike, suspending all forms of print and broadcast media.

Khogendro Khomdram, the president of Editor’s Guild Manipur (EGM), shared that the threat Poknapham received six months ago through the Bureau Chief’s WhatsApp connected well to the ongoing events.

Back then, the WhatsApp intimidation coerced the members to shut down for six months to avoid hazardous outcomes. To avoid press freedom from being breached, it was crucial to put themselves forward and lay a set of demands to assure their safety.

Khogendro speaks of the demands: one, the government find the culprit and book them under the law and two, the attacker comes forward and states their motive for the attack.

What the Protestors have to say?

S. Nengkhalun, the Secretary of Manipur Hill Journalist’s Union (MHJU), says that they consider media as the fourth pillar of democracy and such acts are attacks on journalism itself.

The situation was uncalled for. Many journalists in the protest said that the entire media fraternity was on the attack and the reason for the act was essential to know.

The Course of Action

During the initial 48-hour protest, the press demanded the attacker/ attacking party come forward and clarify their motives. The arrest of the same was to take place. However, no militant party in Manipur came about admitting it. The strike extended for another 48 hours.

Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh, urged them to get back to normalcy and set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the Superintendent of Police to look into the matter. Individuals who contribute to the information on the arrest would receive a reward of ₹50,000. To ensure safety, the CM promised the deployment of security guards in all state newspaper offices.

With this said, Manipur media houses resumed functionality from the 26th of February 2021, Friday. After that opening for work, the journalists sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister assuring press safety and freedom.

I am a versatile First Year Media Student full of enthusiasm and spirit trying to explore her options out in the vast horizon of Media. Being a lover of books, I love penning my thoughts down and count reading as a hobby that has stayed with me since forever. I find myself interested in art journaling and swing along to the strings of a guitar. Apart from that, I'm just another clown finding solace in the picture-imperfect world around me.

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Nine-Year-Old Girl Raped And Murdered In Nangal; Family Asks For Capital Punishment

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Nangal Rape Case II News Aur Chai

The nine-year-old girl was cremated on Aug.1, 2021, without seeking her parents’ permission. The parent’s suspects’ it was rape as her mother was kept away while the priest performed the cremation. The Chief of Bhim Army, Chandrasekhar Azad, has reached their parents and offered legal and financial help.

The villagers have been protesting against the incident and blocked the Containment Roads’ towards the Janakpuri. They are demanding the accused to be hanged to death. The Senior police officer, Joint Commissioner Jaspal Singh, and DCP Ingit Pratap Singh visited the protesting site. They assured the villagers’ justice for the girl and her family. 

While speaking with villagers, Singh said, “All the four accused Radhey Shyam (55), the priest, Kuldeep Kumar (63), Laxmi Narain (48) and Mohammad Salim (49) are in prison. Also, A medical team of 3 members have been set up to carry out of the Autopsy of remaining’s of the girl. And an ACP ranked Officer will investigate the case”. He also requested villagers to give written grievances to Police officers.

The victim’s mother doubts that her daughter had been raped, and thus she was cremated without their permission. The rape charges were not added in the case in the Initial stage. But the rape charges were added after the SC/ST committee visited and spoke with the parents, the Officer leading the case. The Victim identity is kept hidden as per the guidelines of the supreme court and to give privacy to family and avoid media trials. 

“As per current details found by CCTV footage, the girl was seen entering the cremation location around 5 PM and the accused went looking for mother around 6 PM. The properties from the locations are taken for forensic tests and autopsy reports are in process,”. Said the officer-in-charge.

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Flood Wreaked Havoc On Madhya Pradesh.

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Madhya Pradesh Flood II News Aur Chai

Many districts in Madhya Pradesh were hit by heavy flooding on August 3, 2021, due to an unparalleled 800mm rainfall in the past 24 hours. One thousand seven hundred and seventy-one villages are affected due to heavy floods. 

Heavy flooding in Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh, has affected more than a lack of people who have been stuck in the local river. There was a complete power cut, and the mobile network had been cut off since August 2, 2021. The everyday life of people living in the Niwadi and Tikamgarh districts has stopped due to heavy rainfall. The severe rain has been in Guna, Shivpuri, Sheopur, Morena, Datia, Gwalior and Chambal regions. The rivers like Chambal, Kwari, Sindh, Kuno, and Seep have overflowed above the danger mark. The bridge collapsed on river Sindh, near Ratanpur village as the water released from Harsi and Manikheda dams. Double-storey buildings of some areas submerged. 

According to locals, the mobile phones of all the authorities, newspaper offices and local TV channels had ceased. There was a power cut in the city. Rail services in the areas like Shivpuri and Gwalior are affected too. A 50-year-old Nurse, identified as Sumanlata Joshi, was electrocuted in Shivpuri town as an electric current ran into her flooded house in the Kamlaganj area. 

As per officials, three advanced light helicopters and a Russian-made Mi-17 chopper have been sent for rescue operations from the Indian Air Force station. Seven teams of the SDRF are posted in the Shivpuri district for rescue operations. The SDRF has deployed five and two of its units in the communities like Sheopur and Datia. One thousand six hundred people were saved by NDRF and SDRF teams, yet 200 villages are still stuck in the flooded areas.

The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, said the speed of rain has reduced and there will be no terrible rains. They are trying to provide relief and evacuate the people in the affected areas as soon as possible.

The chief minister chaired an emergency meeting in Bhopal on the flood situation of the Gwalior-Chambal region. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, assuring that the Centre will be providing all the help to Madhya Pradesh. The Chief Minister also said that he is very grateful to the Prime Minister for all the cooperation.

The Chief Minister said he held a meeting where he discussed the flood situation in Madhya Pradesh with the prime minister. The Chief Minister, too, discussed help from the Indian Army in the flood-hit areas. Also, they are informing Prime Minister Modi about the rescue operation in those areas. Mr Chouhan said they had shifted four troops of the Army in most flood-affected areas to evacuate more flood-affected people. The SDRF team is handling the situation very well. Ministers are monitoring the status of the problem. 

Union Minister Amit Shah Tweeted discussed the situation of Madhya Pradesh with CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The central government will provide all the help to the state. In this challenging situation, their government is standing with the people of the state.

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Dhanbad Judge Death, Spurs Concern About Threats Faced By Members Of Judiciary

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Uttam Anand Dhanbad Judge II News Aur Chai

On July 28, 2021, Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand died preceding an alleged hit and run accident. The incident took place near his house when Mr Anand was out for his morning walk, and an auto-rickshaw hit him from behind, following which it drove away. Mr Anand was hospitalized by a passer-by, where he succumbed to his injuries. 

The accident is suspecting to be a case of hit and run until the CCTV footage of the accident was recovered, leading to a murder investigation. The video footage shows that the three-wheeler swerved in the Judge’s direction and drove away after knocking him down. A Special Investigations Team [SIT] is formed by the Jharkhand Chief Minister, Hemant Soren, to investigate the death of the Additional Session District judge. 

On July 31, 2021, Jharkhand’s Chief Minister Hemant Soren even took to Twitter to announce his decision to order a CBI probe into the matter. 

An officer-in-charge of Jharkhand’s Pathardih Police Station, Umesh Manjhi, is also suspended for not registering the concerned FIR on time. Sanjeev Kumar, Dhanbad SSP, has confirmed the same. The alleged murder of the Judge is a massive concern over the threats faced by the members of the Judiciary, especially by the trial judges across the country. 

The Supreme Court has taken up a Suo moto cognizance of Mr Anand’s demise, titled ‘In Re: Safeguarding courts and protecting [death of Additional Session Judge, Dhanbad]. Also, the bench led by the Chief Justice of India has expressed its concern over the stressful working conditions and threats amidst which the trial judges have to function.

“The Dhanbad case has wider ramifications. We are getting reports that judicial officers are under attack across the country. We want to examine this issue and may seek reports from the state.” Said the Chief Justice of India. 

The Jharkhand Government and the Director-General of Police are asked to submit the required documents and affidavits by the Supreme Court within the week. Also, the Supreme Court has declared the Suo moto would not interfere or hamper with the probe issued by the Jharkhand High Court into the Judge’s death. 

According to a source in Special Investigations Team [SIT], the three-wheeler drivers were under the influence of a sedative, Nitrosun 10 — a drug prescribed for patients suffering from anxiety disorders and illicit alcohol. 

As per police sources, four men were arrested, including the vehicle driver, the shopkeeper who sold them the drug, and the vehicle owner.

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