Attacks on Media
India: IJU Condemns Arunachal Authorities For Deliberate Inaction09 Mar, 2020
The Indian Journalists Union joins its affiliate the Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists in condemning the shocking apathy by State authorities in getting justice for senior journalist Tongam Rina and The Arunachal Times in cases filed by them eight years ago against vandalism and attempt to murder. The IJU demands that the State police particularly is made answerable and is ordered to comply with the court’s directive of placing evidence without any further delay.
The case goes back to April 2012 when some masked men vandalised the Arunachal Times office in Itanagar and two months later i.e. July 2012 masked men shot at Tongam at point blank range in front of the office for her reportage on exposing rampant corruption in PDS and Hydro power projects. Though Tongam survived the murderous assault she has had to battle with the police authorities to place and record the evidence. Worse, crucial evidence has gone missing from the Itanagar police station’s evidence room.
In a statement IJU President Geetartha Pathak and Secretary General and IFJ Vice President Sabina Inderjit said the evidence missing reveals that the police is trying to protect the culprits rather than do its duty honestly to assist the victims and ensure they get justice. It is travesty of justice, said the IJU that the cases are pending in various courts for these past eight years without any kind of hearing, due to evidence not being placed.
Drawing attention to the UN’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists observed every year on 2 November, the IJU said the State government must act and forcefully to ensure that these cases are brought to their logical conclusion. Further attempts to dilute the cases will be viewed as an attempt to stifle the voice of journalists and media to carry out their rightful duties and be responsible to the society. The authorities must remember that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and that IJU expresses solidarity with its colleagues to ensure that this case does not get the tag of ‘impunity’.