Nava J Thakuria
Hyderabad: Indian Journalists Union (IJU) expresses serious concern over the intimidation of banned separatist outfit United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) to a Guwahati-based news channel editor for his views on three youths’ departure to join the militant group.
In a statement (dated 22 Nov 2021), the Ulfa (I) targeted ND24 (News Daily 24) editor Rajdeep Bailung Baruah following his comments that three detained Assamese youths, who seemingly went to join the outfit, if interrogated it would be clear who instigated them to take the path. Assam Rifles detained them from Mon district of Nagaland bordering Myanmar.
Questioning the editor’s rights to make such kind of comments, the Ulfa (I) warned him for the last time. Crossing all limits, the outfit dictated the editor not to make such ‘mistake’ in future, otherwise the statement asserted, the outfit would take any kind of steps against the editor.
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Speaking to an IJU representative in Assam, Bailung Baruah reiterated that he believes in journalism of credibility and authenticity. A seasoned television journalist for decades, Bailung Baruah also clarified that neither he nor ND24 is accountable to Ulfa(I), but their millions of viewers and well-wishers.
“Journalists have nothing to learn from a banned militant outfit, especially about their own profession. They will perform their duties according to their commitment to the medium as well as the nation,” said IJU president K. Sreenivas Reddy and secretary general Balwinder Singh Jammu.
The national union of scribes urged State chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, also in charge of home portfolio, to look into the matter and take necessary actions.
IJU leaders also appealed to all media persons based in the region to stand with the editor and denounce the militant’s threat to the media.