In the wake of recent attacks on journalists in the northeast, the North East Media Forum (NEMF) has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure their safety and security in the region.
"As you must be aware of, mediapersons in the entire northeast work under highly-adverse conditions of low salaries, lack of insurance and risk of bodily injury by those whose misdeeds they expose through their writings," the NEMF, a grouping of northeast journalists working in the national capital, said in a letter to Singh.
"As the head of the Indian state, we appeal to you to ensure that media personnel in the northeast can carry out their professional duties without fear of physical harm," the NEMF said.
Mohammad Muslimuddin, a journalist working for Assamese daily 'Asomiya Pratidin' was killed by unknown persons in Nagaon district on April 1 for allegedly reporting about instances of criminal-politician nexus in the area, the letter said.
"Since 1987, about 20 media professionals have been killed in Assam and most of the cases have remained unsolved, putting a question mark on the so-called freedom of the press in the region," the NEMF said.
In Manipur, all media had stopped operations since March 21 following threats to four journalists from a faction of the banned People's United Liberation Front (PULF).
The threat from PULF to abduct mediapersons had come riding with the demand that newspapers must overturn their decision not to publish PULF press releases, the letter said.