Guwahati, July 16: An alert has been sounded in and around Itanagar following yesterday’s attack on senior journalist Tongam Rina.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki described the attack as “barbaric” and condemnation poured in from across the state.
Rina, the associate editor of The Arunachal Times, was shot at by an unknown gunman when she was entering her office.
She was rushed to R.K. Mission Hospital by her colleagues. A team of surgeons removed the bullet, which hit her backbone and intestines but she is out of danger, the CMO said this evening.
Shaken by the attack, the state administration has ordered a manhunt to catch the culprit and issued a non-bailable warrant against the unknown gunman.
An official of the CMO has been deputed in the hospital to oversee her treatment, the expenses of which will be borne by the government.
The chief minister convened a high-level meeting with chief secretary, DGP and IG to assess the situation and set up a mode for an investigation into the incident.
Director-general of police K. Deol said Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and CRPF personnel were assisting the state police in the manhunt.
Police pickets have been put up at various locations to check each and every vehicle.
All entry and exist points to Itanagar have been sealed and are being monitored by security personnel. However, no one has been arrested.
“They are yet to take the statement of Rina,” a police source said.
Condemning the attack, Tuki said, “The attack on media is attack on the people and therefore an attack on the government. The criminal, whatever be his or her identity, has to be arrested and arrested immediately.”
He also assured the media that its freedom of expression would be ensured at any cost and appealed for co-operation with the government in the investigation.
The chief minister visited the hospital last evening immediately after the attack on Rina and he is continuously monitoring her recovery, the CMO said.
Attending a high-level senior police officers’ conference at the police headquarters later in the day, Tuki emphasised the need for effective policing to contain the crime rate in the state.
Referring to Sunday’s incident, Tuki, said, “I believe this conference will also refer, ponder and retrospect on the latest crime in the state capital, which happened last evening. A lady journalist of a leading daily was shot at in broad daylight. This reflects a bad light on our intelligence collection as well as the poor confidence of the people on our security system. It is high time we tightened our belts,”
“I fervently appeal to my police officer friends to take a pledge today to make our state, particularly its capital Itanagar, a crime-free zone. Let our people wipe out the feeling of insecurity and live in peace and tranquillity. Let us deal with the crimes and criminals with an iron hand and ensure safety and security to the people.”
Arunachal governor J.J. Singh also condemned the attack on Rina, his office said.
Terming it “an act of cowardice”, the governor vehemently condemned the attack on the freedom of the media and said it was totally unacceptable.
Conveying his concern to the chief minister, Singh said the people’s confidence on the government should be strengthened.
“Those involved in this shameful act should be arrested as soon as possible and made to face the law of the land,” he said.