IMPHAL, May 17: The Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) has resolved to ban The Sangai Express and ISTV in the State with immediate effect charging of being bias.

A statement issued by Seiboi Haokip, general secretary of the organisation, stated that the decision to ban the newspaper and the local television news channel was taken in view of the partiality in reporting practiced by the two media with respect to the Haorang Kairel killing incident and Thingsat killings.

It is fully evident from the news reporting that the newspaper and television news channel have prejudiced the Kuki people by resorting to ignore the Haorang Kairel killing incident while giving exclusive and undue coverage to the Thingsat killing incident, it said.

The two leading media have totally ignored and neglected due coverage on the Haorang Kairel killing incident or the crime as a whole. On the other hand, the Thingsat killing incident has been exhaustively reported inciting communal tension in the valley, it continued.

The KSO considers this manner of news reporting as unethical and unfair adding that the lopsided reporting and partiality has tinted the innocent victims of Haorang Kairel incident in a poor light as if the incident that happened was not a crime or newsworthy, it said.

Recalling the incident it said that on May 14 at around 11am, four innocent villagersof Kangchup Songlung viz. Shaktiman driver-Semkhongam Haokip and three workers- Nehminthang Haokip, Lunminhao Haokip and Thangminlun Khongsai, who were called to work by the Shaktiman owner were waylaid by a group of about 40 men at Sanjenbam Lamkhai. After they were dragged down from the truck, they were whisked away in two auto rickshaws and brought to Haorang Kairel, where they were subjected to fatal thrashing with rods and knives it alleged.

On seeing the crime elders of the locality intervened to save the victims and called the police. In the process the police snatched three victims away from the clutch of the mob and were brought to RIMS. The missing Shaktiman driver who was found in the field later was declared brought dead at RIMS.

But this incident has been deliberately ignored and censored by the two leading media in their news reporting, It said.

While in RIMS, the newsmen interviewed the survivors and gathered the details of the dead driver and the three survivors and also the circumstances of the crime. But, they failed to report the crime in their newspapers and feigned ignorance of the incident, it added.

The KSO and the valley based student organizations had also called a press conference condemning the Haorang Kairel incident particularly. But the Haorang Kairel incident has not been reported even though its details or circumstances were given to the reporters in the press interview, it lamented.

Not only the killing of Semkhongam Haokip has been censored in the news, the statements of the KSO and KIM were also distorted. The KSO cannot accept this unfairness without an apology from the two media, it claimed.

The Sangai Express and ISTV are widely subscribed and held in esteemed regard by the Kuki community. But, the two leading media is engaging in biased and lopsided reporting thereby hurting the sentiment of the community. As such the KSO has resorted to take this drastic action of banning the two media from circulating, it concluded.

Source: Imphal Free Press

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