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IFJ condemns 'ban' on Assamese newspaper

The IFJ criticises the 'ban' imposed on an Assamese daily Asamiya Pratidin by the Bodo People's Front.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2008 08:45 AM IST

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the "ban" reportedly imposed on an Assamese daily 'Asamiya Pratidin' by the Bodo People's Front.

Armed vigilantes belonging to BPF had intercepted a delivery van belonging to the newspaper on February 25 in the Kokrajhar district of Assam, and destroyed its entire cargo of the day's edition before setting the van ablaze, the IFJ said citing inputs received from its affiliate Indian Journalists Union (IJU).

The IJU has urged the BPF to be more respectful of the laws of the land regarding the right to free speech, an IFJ statement said while endorsing the call.

The BPF had allegedly reacted to a report in the Feb 24 edition of 'Asamiya Pratidin' about an extravagant wedding ceremony held the previous day for its leader Hagrama Mohilary.

The IFJ called on the Bodoland Territorial Council and the Assam state government, which is enjoying support from the BPF, to promptly condemn the attack on media freedom and bring those responsible to book.

"India has established grievance settlement processes in matters involving the press", Jacqueline Park, Director, IFJ Asia-Pacific, said.

"Aggrieved individuals are at liberty to approach the Press Council of India or if warranted, the courts of law for redress, and not resort to armed vigilantism," she added.

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