Meghalaya Speaker`s reply on scribe assault sought

Following a complaint that a photo journalist had been assaulted by a Meghalaya MLA, PCI chief sought response from the state Assembly Speaker.

New Delhi: Following a complaint that a photo
journalist had been allegedly assaulted by a Meghalaya MLA,
Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju on Monday sought
response from the state assembly Speaker so that further
action can be taken in this regard.

In a letter to Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Charles
Pyngrope, Katju said he had received a complaint from Indian
Journalist Union about an alleged assault on a photo
journalist by a legislator in the hill state.

"It is alleged that a photo journalist, Walton Hilton,
was attacked by MLA Founder Strong Cajee because he had taken
a photograph of him in the Assembly. As a result of this
attack, the photographer had to be hospitalised in Shillong,"
the PCI chief said.

Katju said if the complaint was true, it constituted a
serious violation of the freedom of Press, which was
guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution.

"Please give your response to this letter at the earliest
so Press Council may take further action in the matter," the
letter stated.

On March 19, Walton was allegedly assaulted by the
Congress MLA from Mawlai constituency in the Meghalaya
Assembly premises after a photograph showing him taking a nap
during the state Assembly session appeared in a couple of
vernacular newspapers.

While Leader of Opposition in Meghalaya Assembly Conrad K
Sangma had termed the incident as "unfortunate", the Speaker
had threatened action against the erring legislator under the

An FIR had also been lodged with the Shillong police in
this regard.