ITANAGAR, Apr 15: In a shocking incident, the office of ‘The Arunachal Times’ was vandalized by a group of over 10 unidentified youth, who trespassed into the office here in between 3.30 to 4 pm this afternoon and went on a rampage without any reason, and escaped within minutes. A few others of the gang were waiting outside the newspaper office when the vandalism was in progress.
No employee was, however, physically harmed in what looked like a coordinated and well planned attack in which six computer sets were completely damaged.
On learning about the incident, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, who had left for New Delhi Sunday on an urgent official tour, issued direction to his political secretary Bamang Tago and additional PRO Rupjyoti Pater, who rushed to the AT office while Capital Complex SP Hibu Tamang and Itanagar PS OC inspector M Bui along with a police team were already conducting investigation.
Condemning the incident in the strongest terms, Tago pointed out that this seemed to be a game plan of some person(s) with vested interest to bring blame on the present govt on the law & order front.
“No stone would be left unturned to bring the culprits to book,” Tago promised while the members of Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) and Arunachal Press Club (APC) registered a strong protest against the hooliganism that took place in broad daylight in the most secured Press establishment in the State.
The GoAP has taken an important decision on a mechanism which would be in place with the recruitment of adequate police personnel and a specific magistrate-designate to deal with cases relating to attack on media houses and persons in the capital complex, so that the Press could work without any fear and favour to contribute towards state building, Tago disclosed.
The daring attack left the media fraternity shocked, and media persons made a beeline for the AT office immediately following the incident.
The APUWJ and the APC in a joint statement condemned the attack and said the Press would be meaningless if such repeated attacks continued without anyone being punished.
If the GoAP, particularly the law enforcing authorities, overlook the incidents it would have a demoralizing effect which would amount to a democracy without the Fourth Estate.
Demanding immediate arrest and exemplary punishment to the guilty without any interference from any quarter, the organizations said it was due to inaction and lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned that such attacks have continued unabated though our tribal society’s is known as a peace-loving classless one.
Mostly, unknown and self-styled NGOs resort to such attacks because of turf wars within groups to hold on to power while the Press remains at the receiving end for no fault. This has to end forthwith, if the State wants to become prosperous, or else the tall talks of making Arunachal Pradesh a modern, progressive state would remain a mirage, cautioned the joint statement.



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