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Manipur newspapers publish blank editorials in protest

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Manipur newspapers publish blank editorials in protest

Prominent newspapers, in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Manipur’s capital Imphal, left their editorial space blank on Wednesday morning. It was to protest the burning down of copies of a local daily, reportedly done by BJYM, the youth wing of BJP.

Last Saturday, Poknapham, a vernacular daily, published an editorial on how the state government was handling the peace talks between the centre and Naga groups, including the armed NSCN (IM).

The editorial, as per media reports, also mentioned some inappropriate language for Prime Minister Narendra Modi which triggered immediate reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).

Soon after, copies of vernacular newspaper were set on fire by a mob in front of BJP’s party office at Nityapat Chuthek.

However, the president of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU), W Shyamjai, told media that youth wing of BJP should have discussed the matter with the editors and the publisher of Poknapham.

“The act of burning the papers amount to promulgation of mob culture,” he added condemning the incident.

Next day, editors of local dailies decided in a meeting to leave the editorial space blank to register their protest against the burning of the newspaper copies.

On National Press Day, November 16, 2017, Rajasthan Patrika had also left its editorial space blank to protest against the controversial ordinance by the Rajasthan Government that bars media from naming public servants and politicians as accused until the government sanctions the prosecution.

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