Attack on media persons in Jaintia Hills condemned

Demand for arrest of JHTOA president Balen Thubru

SHILLONG: The Jaintia Students’ Union (JSU) has demanded stringent action against JHTOA president Balen Thubru who allegedly assaulted two journalists while they were performing their duties at Soomer, Mihmyntdu, near Jowai on Monday night.

The two journalists – Ruhi Phawa of U Ri-luk Youtube Online News Channel and Paul Lamare, a cameraperson – were allegedly attacked by Thubru while they were taking footages of coal-laden trucks which were seized while they were transporting coal outside the State in violation of the NGT ban.

The JSU also submitted a memorandum to the West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner and Additional SP of the district on Tuesday demanding immediate arrest of the accused.

JSU president C.H. Passah informed that they had also met Additional Deputy Commissioner D.M. Wahlang who assured that the district administration would submit a report to the Government on the incident.

Passah claimed that the JHTOA president and his colleagues were in an inebriated state when they attacked the two journalists.

According to Passah, Thubru first snatched the video camera and then started to assault the journalists.

While the two journalists were injured in the incident, the video camera was also damaged.

Passah also informed that the two journalists had informed the police at Lad Nartiang about the attack.

Strangely, the Lad Nartiang police did not response and instead called the Officer in Charge of Jowai Traffic branch, who in turn relayed the information to the Officer in charge of Jowai PS.

“The OC of Jowai PS had to travel all the way from Jowai to meet the two journalists who had escaped to the Bishop’s House,” Passah said.

Meanwhile, the All Jaintia Youth Federation has also strongly condemned the attack on media persons in Jaintia Hills by president of the Jaintia Hills Truck Owners’ Association, Balen Thubru.

“The attack on media persons is very wrong. Thubru as the leader of the JHTOA should have met them and faced the interview instead of assaulting them,” the AJYWO said, while urging the concerned authorities to take stern action against the JHTOA chief and his accomplices.

The Meghalaya Editors’ & Publishers’ Association (MEPA) has also condemned the attack on Phawa and Lamare and has asked the district administration to look into the matter seriously and take the culprits to task.

The Shillong Press Club also took the assault of two of its members in Jaintia Hills with serious concern. While condemning the unprovoked attack by Balen Thubru, the Shillong Press Club called upon the district administration to arrest the perpetrator and take him to task as per the law of the land.

At the same time, the Shillong Press Club also sought clarity from the JHTOA on whether Thubru was indeed the president or was just using the association’s name for his own personal interests.

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