JFA, APC appeal for media restrain in covering border disputes
Posted on January 31st, 2014

Nava Thakuria, Secretary, Journalists’ Forum Assam, Guwahati

Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) and Arunachal Press Club (APC) have appealed to the media to exercise restrain while covering the border conflicts between the two neighbouring States in northeast India.

The appeal was issued jointly after the incident of firing by armed miscreants at Bihali reserve forest in Assam’s Sonitpur district on January 29 killing ten people and injuring eight others which has received wider media coverage in most of the regional media outlets including the Guwahati based satellite news channels.

The tension have also mounted along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border areas after the incident of firing that forced some organizations of the district to block all the Itanagar bound vehicles on National Highway 52 on January 30 to demonstrate their anger. The incident took place in Bihali reserve forest where suspected miscreants from Arunachal side fired upon the settlers.

The victims reportedly belonged to a local vigilant committee, set up by Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) that continued raising voices against the encroachment of Assam land by some Arunachali people.

The media fraternity of Arunachal under the banner of APC, came out with a statement that the said conflict zone under the Taraso circle of Arunachal is ‘quite a sensitive and geo-political subject’, and hence the mainstream media should not to go for conclusion immediately from which side the violence was initiated. “With firm conscience, we must pledge and inform the people of Assam that the conflict is not at all a fight between Assam and Arunachal.

Beyond the debate for both the brotherly States for now, peace is more important than all justice,” said the statement signed by APC president Chopa Cheda. Admitting that the Taraso conflict is emerged due to prolonged negligence shown by both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to resolve the border dispute, the media persons’ organisation added, “The peace-loving people of Arunachal do understand that the conflict has hurt the brotherly relationship between the two States beyond repair. But, with firm conscience, we must pledge and inform the people of Assam that the conflict is not at all a fight between Assam and Arunachal.”

On the other hand, JAF argues that the government at Itanagar and Dispur should take appropriate initiatives with mutual cooperation to nab the culprits. Moreover, the Assam based scribe body believes that the Arunachal government with the civil society groups and media persons should cooperate with the authorities to identify the perpetrators to book them under the law of the land.

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