The Mizoram Journalists Association members have organized sit-in protests in Aizawl and various district headquarters against the brutal assault on journalists by the Assam Police when they were covering the standoff between the Mizo students and the Assam Police at Zophai near Bairabi along the Mizoram-Assam border on 10 March.
The Assam Police reportedly opened fire and lathi charged at the Mizo protestors for allegedly “intruding” into Assam’s land.
The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) claimed that the land belonged to Mizoram and they went there to construct a rest shed (‘Zofate Chawlhbuk’).
The Mizoram-based journalists accused the Assam Police of brutally beating them when they were covering the incident although they were wearing their press cards.
Journalist Emmy C Lawbei of News18 Assam-North East was the first one to highlight the atrocities of the Assam Police on herself and fellow journalists.
“Hey ASSAM POLICE: We are Journalists who came to do ground reporting, we were unarmed, our only weapon was camera, pen and notepad,yet you beat us black and blue and you fired shots at us. I am so mad at your ignorance and aggressive behaviour towards us. Stop assaulting Press.” she wrote on her Facebook page on 10 March from Bairabi hospital where she was admitted.
According to zoramobserver.com, 8 Mizoram-based journalists including Emmy C Lawbei were beaten up by the Assam Police but no Assam-based journalist was attacked.
The New Delhi-based Asian Centre for Human Rights has filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the brutal torture of journalists including Ms Emmy C Lawbei by the Assam police and asked the NHRC to conduct an independent inquiry into the torture of the journalists and appropriate legal action against the guilty police personnel.