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Mon, 25 Mar 2019

Northeast Today

Nagaland Governor Backs Assam Rifles Notification to Newspapers

Nagaland Governor Backs Assam Rifles Notification to Newspapers
November 23
11:56 2015

Nagaland governor PB Acharya stood by the Assam Rifles’ October notification issued to newspapers in Nagaland, which accused them of being complicit in illegal activities by publishing statement of banned organizations. Acharya, who is also governor of Assam, said on Sunday that the Assam Rifles had done what is prescribed under law.

“As per the law, the Assam Rifles had done the right thing. Any banned organization will not get the publicity in our newspapers. If they (armed outfits) are in peace agreement with the government, their statements can come in the newspapers,” Acharya said.

The Assam Rifles sent the notification on October 25 saying that by reporting of press statements issued by National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) (NSCN-K), the newspapers were supporting the unlawful association intentionally or unintentionally. The notification accused the editors of violating the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Acharya also echoed that as NSCN (K) is a banned organization the Assam Rifles had to send the notification.

“There is a central law which prohibits publicity of banned outfits. Let law takes its own course,” the governor added. Following Assam Rifles’ notification, three English dailies in the state carried blank editorials on National Press Day on Monday last in protest. Many of the editors in the state have termed the notification as an attempt to gag the free press. They said they were committed to ensuring impartial journalism by creating space for diverse viewpoints.

A gazette notification earlier this month declared NSCN (K) and its front organizations as a terrorist organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The NSCN (K), which was involved in killing 18 army personnel in Chandel district of Manipur on June this year, was formed in 1988. The outfit abrogated ceasefire agreement with the centre on March this year. It signed the peace agreement in March 2001.

Acharya said that with NSCN (IM), the largest armed group in Northeast, having peace framework with the centre, the hope for peace has rekindled in the region. “If peace comes in Nagaland, it will give great hope for peace in the whole of Northeast. The peace framework with NSCN (IM) has rekindled that hope. Also the democratic process in neighbouring Myanmar is a positive symptom for the region’s peace and security,” the governor added.

-TNN

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