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Scribe shot at in lower Assam: Media bodies demand actions

Journalist Action Committee (Assam) and Journalists’ Forum Assam have expressed shock at the incident of shooting at a local scribe in western Assam last night by the miscreants and demanded stringent actions against the perpetrators.

Prashanta Kumar (35), who is associated with Asomiya Pratidin, a highly circulated Assamese daily, was picked up by a group of unknown gunmen from Khairabari locality of Udalguri district last evening.  The armed youths introduced themselves as members belonged to National Democratic Front of Bodoland (IK Songbijit faction) and physically assaulted Kumar for his series of anti-militant reporting.

For few hours, the culprits tortured Kumar inside a four-wheeler and then shot at him. Kumar, who got bullet injuries at his left shoulder, was soon abandoned by the youths for dying. However, some villagers took Kumar to a local hospital and later he was shifted to Gauhati Medical College hospital in the midnight of June 18, where he is still undergoing treatment. According to the attending doctors, Kumar is out of danger and recovering fast.

Attacks on media persons have been increasing across the country for their journalistic activities. The tendency has recently grown in lower and central Assam following the massive security operations against the tribal militants, where the armed outfits start targeting the reporters for covering the anti-militant activities,” said a  joint statement issued by JAC and JFA.

It also urged the State chief minister Tarun Gogoi, also in charge of State home portfolio, to take appropriate actions against the culprits such that the scribes of rural Assam can report on sensitive issues without fear and in confidence of justice for any unwanted incidents relating to them.

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