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IRB jawans face scribe assault slur

Imphal, Feb. 13: An FIR has been filed against five India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel for allegedly assaulting a senior journalist without any reason. All five have been suspended.

Police today said the FIR was registered yesterday on the basis of a complaint lodged on Tuesday by Wangkhemcha Shamjai, president of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union.

The complaint said havildar Md Mujibur, commanding an IRB team at the northern gate of Kangla Fort here, assaulted Aribam Chaoba aka Dhananjoy Sharma around 11.30pm on Monday, while he was returning to his residence in Thangmeiband from his office in Imphal East.

Chaoba is a senior reporter of The Imphal Free Press and a member of the executive committee of the journalists’ union. Mujibur allegedly hit him on the face with his radio set and threatened to shoot him. Chaoba was treated at a nearby hospital.

The police today said Mujibur and four other personnel present during the incident were suspended yesterday.

The FIR was registered under sections of IPC concerning criminal intimidation and causing grievous injuries. The union is, however, not satisfied with the sections.

In a statement today, the union demanded the havildar and his team be arrested immediately and booked under the Arms Act.

“The havildar, who was armed with a service weapon, intimidated, verbally abused, assaulted, humiliated and threatened to shoot Chaoba,” the statement said.

Unlike past incidents of assault on mediapersons, the media community did not hold any sit-in or take out rally or meet any minister to seek justice in the present case. “We will go by the law. We are prepared to fight the case legally till justice is delivered,” Shamjai said.