Shillong Times editor quits Editors Guild, cites ‘discrimination’
Senior journalist and Padma Shri awardee Patricia Mukhim on Tuesday resigned from the Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Tuesday, complaining about what she described as the EGI’s “complete silence” on the high court ruling against her. The Meghalaya high court had recently declined to quash an FIR against her.
Patricia Mukhim, the editor of Shillong Times, said her only crime was that she had commented on Facebook when some non-tribal boys were beaten up by “some so-called miscreants”.
“I put up the post as a humanitarian gesture asking for the rule of law to be applied, asking for justice for those who suffer but that was construed as an attempt to appease or assuage the feelings of the non-tribals and thereby try to create communal tension because the judge says that tribals and non-tribals have been living in peace and harmony,” she said.
The case relates to an incident on July 3 this year when a group of boys playing basketball at Lawsohtun a locality in Shillong, were attacked by around 20-25 youths resulting in injuries to some. Police registered a criminal case and seven suspects were picked up for interrogation.
The order observed that “the petitioner who is a journalist said to be of national and international repute responded to the incident by posting her comments on a social media platform, Facebook on July 4 echoing her stance against such brutal attacks meted out to non-tribals in the state and the ordeal faced by them since the past several decades”.
In the post, she also asked the village council about their obligatory role to keep vigil at the place of occurrence and their required assistance for apprehending the culprits. A case was filed against her at the instance of the village council.
Mukhim approached the high court to cancel the FIR but the request was rejected by the high court last Tuesday.
“I brought this to the attention of the Guild last Tuesday but there was complete silence from their side, whereas they were very quick to give a statement on behalf of Arnab Goswami, the celebrity anchor of Republic TV although he was arrested in a case that was non-journalistic in nature, it was a case of abetment to suicide,” she told HT.
“My resignation from the Guild is because I feel that there is selective discrimination of where the Guild speaks or where it doesn’t want to speak. The silence is really very troubling. You don’t go silent when a member is afflicted,” Mukhim said adding that she didn’t see the point in being a member of such a body.
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