New Delhi: The Press Council of India (PCI) has asked Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to take steps to ensure that newspapers in his state, which have been receiving threats from militants, can function normally.
In a letter addressed to Singh, PCI chairperson Justice (retd) Markandey Katju said that he had been informed that newspapers in Manipur have stopped publication since the last few days due to threat by a certain militant group.
He said the militant group had threatened to disturb distribution of newspapers in Manipur and commit violence unless its statements are published in the newspapers.
The All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) has reportedly staged a demonstration in Imphal, demanding protection from the authorities, Katju said.
"I, would, therefore, request you to kindly take all necessary steps to ensure press freedom in Manipur and restore normal functioning of newspapers in the State," Katju said in his letter to the Manipur CM.
The PCI chief said that as per the Constitution of India, freedom of the press is a guaranteed fundamental right.
He said that two Press Council members Kosuri Amarnath and KS Sachidananda Murthy have written to him about the threats faced by newspapers in Manipur. It is the duty of the PCI to ensure press freedom, he said.
Katju also attached news clippings about threats to the media along with his letter to the Chief Minister.