Guwahati: The Journalists` Forum Assam has expressed serious concern over the ceasing of publication of newspapers in Arunachal Pradesh due to the ongoing conflict between media persons and the authority in Itanagar.
The Assam based scribes` body in a statement here urged the authority to resolve the matter for the sake of thousands of newspaper readers.
Condemning any kind of threat to media houses, JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria asserted that Arunachal Pradesh government should intervene on the matter and resolve the issue amicably so that people are not deprived of their morning newspapers because of the conflict.
JFA also appealed to the media fraternity of Arunachal Pradesh, which has neither any satellite news channel nor active news portals, to rethink on their decision to shut down the publications indefinitely keeping an eye on the denizens of the mountainous state bordering Bhutan, China and Myanmar.
The conflict began when the capital complex deputy commissioner Mige Kamki permitted the Students` Union Movement of Arunachal (SUMA) to stage a demonstration on February 14 against Itanagar-based English daily The Arunachal Times in front of their office.
"The development angered the media fraternity as the authority had virtually bowed down to the pressure of SUMA, which has a history of confrontations with the media," the statement said.
The Arunachal Press Club and the Union of Working Journalists jointly decided to shut all media houses protesting against the authority`s alleged anti-media ruling and fearing confrontation with the Students` Union Movement of Arunachal (SUMA), it said.
The media bodies in a joint representation to Chief Minister Nabam Tuki sought immediate suspension of Kamki for giving permission to SUMA to hold the dharna against the publication without verifying facts.
They also sought restraining of SUMA president Biri Tabing and SUMA members from intimidating media houses and press persons and sought a ban on entry to media houses and the press after 5:00 PM.
Mige Kamki has, meanwhile, claimed through a press statement that he permitted SUMA "for a peaceful rally/dharna at the newly designated dharna/rally ground near Tennis Court inside IG Park, Itanagar and not for staging rally/dharna outside the Arunachal Times Office on February 14".
Denying the allegation against him "as baseless, unfounded and irresponsible", the deputy commissioner also asserted that the indefinite shutdown of all Itanagar based media houses is "uncalled for and unwarranted".