From our Correspondent
Itanagar, July 17: The brutal attack on a lady journalist here has evoked strong reactions from various media organizations of the country including international women organization.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has strongly condemned the attempt on the life of Tongam Rina, Associate Editor of Arunachal Times on July 15 last.
“We extend our support to the journalists of Arunachal Pradesh who are observing a day-long work stoppage in protest against the attempt on Rina’s life”.
“We call on the State authorities to thoroughly investigate this attack, as well as all previous instances of overt threats being made to journalists, which may all be linked,” the federation said in a communique today.
Rina has reportedly faced threats in the recent past over her reporting. One such instance followed her reporting on certain irregularities in the functioning of the Public Distribution System for food and other essential commodities in the State.
There were also threats made against her after she reported on the factional rivalries within an armed underground group in two districts of the State. The office of her newspaper was ransacked on April 15 this year, with the assailants remaining at large.
The South Asia Women in Media (SAWM) while condemning the incident said that attacks on media were not new in the Northeastern State of Arunachal Pradesh.
Three months ago the office of the newspaper in which Rina work was vandalized by a group of ten intruders. One-and-a-half years ago, two women reporters, Appu Gapak and Nyapi Bomjen, of the Sentinel Arunachal, were attacked by the local police in Itanagar while on an assignment. Despite strong evidence and a case being registered, the guilty have not been punished.
As a regional organization representing women journalists from the SAARC countries, SAWM is disturbed by the increasingly dangerous climate in which media professionals function in South Asia and is especially concerned about the poor security of women journalists.
It adds its voice to those of other independent media collectives to strongly urge the State and Central Governments to ensure the safety of working women journalists in the Northeast and bring those guilty of acts of violence, assault and intimidation to justice urgently.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people today staged a protest rally in Itanagar and submitted memorandum to Chief Minister Nabam Tuki demanding immediate arrest of the culprit.
The rally was an outcome of a forum Justice for Tongam which was created among facebook fans of Rina.