By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, June 15: Assam Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal today assured a delegation of the Assam Press Correspondents’ Union (APCU) of actively considering its demand for extending one-time fincial assistance to the next of kin of jourlists killed either by militants or miscreants.
A delegation of the APCU today met the Chief Minister at Dispur and raised various demands, including the demand for one-time assistance to the next of kin of jourlists killed by militants or miscreants. After giving a patient hearing, the Chief Minister was quipped to call his Secretary Vishal Solangki and instructed him to take note of the demand and do all to take a Cabinet decision on the demand shortly.
Over 25 jourlists lost their lives in the State in the hands of militants or miscreants since 1991. The first jourlist to have lost his life at the hand of militants in the State is Kamala Saikia of Ajir Asom. The family members of a number of the slain jourlists are in a pathetic plight.
During their meeting with the Chief Minister, the APCU team led by its president Manoj Singh raised demands like compensation amounting to Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of a jourlist in the event of his/her killing by miscreants or militants, besides a government job to a member of his/her family based on merit, media scholarship for jourlists, early implementation of a jourlists’ pension scheme, an insurance scheme for jourlists, free education for the wards of jourlists, free treatment facilities for jourlists in government hospitals, 50 per cent discount in the treatment of jourlists in private hospitals (by amending the relevant laws), construction of a guest house in Guwahati for jourlists, press recognition cards to jourlists from the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) for jourlists working anywhere in the State, ecting a separate law for ensuring safety and security of jourlists and the formation of a media council.
The Chief Minister assured the team that he would look into the demands.