The Kokrajhar Press Club expresses its serious concern over the intercession of the police on the free work out and having ground report of any incident by media persons in Kokrajhar district. The club also expresses apprehension over the statement of IGP(Law and Order) SN Singh who accused some members of Kokrajhar Press Club in an interview in the News Channel on June 18 that they have been maintaining relation with the NDFB (Songbijit) and instigating the militants operatives.
In a press release, Ajit Basumatary and Dhananjoy Nath, president and secretary of the Kokrajhar Press Club said, ‘We feel that the assertion of a police officer in the rank of IGP who held media persons answerable for giving coverage of interview of the NDFB (S) in the encounter site that took place on June 17 at Aozar under Serfanguri police station in Kokrajhar district can’t be considered to be inciting the outfit to carry out subversive activities’. The media persons of Kokrajhar gave a coverage of the successful operation of joint team of the army and police at Aozar where a hardcore NDFB militant identified as B Laijam was killed and injuring two others as well as subsequent recovery of sophisticated arms-AK-56 rifle, grenade and huge quantity of ammunitions from the possession of slain militant. Our members, being aware and responsible for highlighting the actual fact, went to Aozar for collecting ground report of the incident but they somehow, came across with a group of NDFB (S) having sophisticated weapons in their hands. And self style Area Commander of the NDFB (S) B Jwblang approached the media persons and warned the security forces in front of cameras to give befitting reply within short and suddenly one of them opened fire some rounds in the air from his automatic rifle. Most of the News Channels carried the story in the lead.
The Kokrajhar Press Club feels that the police wanted to put out of sight on the security lapses as the members of suspected militant outfit lobbed grenades in front of MTO of Police Reserve at Kokrajhar on June 18, the next day of Aozar incident but the police, later, maintained tight lip and denied the blast of grenade despite people of the locality informed about the big bang. As the contention of senior police officer of Kokrajhar who blames the journalist fraternity of the district for being responsive to NDFB, our disagreement is that the NDFB (Any faction, mostly Songbijit) use to send press statement via e-mail and these statements are carried in the News papers and at the same time, the police officers always want to avoid giving interview regarding the killing or encounter etc. The media persons of Kokrajhar can not be biased to militant outfit and we can’t accept the charge of being compassionate to militant organizations
The members of Kokrajhar Press Club are having no exception from the rebellious design of the NDFB and other militant group as we the history of becoming victim of insurgency. Two of our members have lost their lives to the hands of militant outfit and there is no question of promoting the activities of the terrorists.
The Kokrajhar Press Club also expresses unfortunate over the pressure mounted on the members of the club from police department compelling them to go to the spot of interview with the NDFB (S) area commander at Aozar on June 19. Now, the thing is that the police seem to die down media persons instead of taking pragmatic step sharing the findings with the media persons. The Kokrajhar Press Club will raise the issue in the special meeting of the Journalists Union of India (Assam unit) to be held at Barpeta Road on June 22, the release added.