File photo of coal transportation in Meghalaya (Photo: The Shillong Times)

In a bizarre development, a list featuring prominent media houses of Guwahati is being circulated in WhatsApp groups and other social media forums, who allegedly are receiving money from coal syndicate. The list, as reported by RSS affiliated publication Organizer, is believed to be the media houses which receive money from the coal syndicate.

The list also mentions about some police stations of Assam and Meghalaya as receiving money from the coal truckers.  

The image of the A4 size paper, which features the names of the media houses and police stations, has been marked as confidential.

The development started with a sheet of exposed paper, written as confidential, that depicted a list of beneficiaries among some mainstream media houses based in Guwahati and Silchar.

Claimed as prepared on October 21, the list mentions a number of satellite news channels and newspapers based in Guwahati and Silchar along with a press association, as being offered monthly contribution (protection money) by the truckers.

The expenditure to carry ‘coil’ (coal?) involving payments to media groups — even though the particular paper is not authenticated — may trigger huge repercussions among the common people, argued Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA).

In a statement, the forum has already expressed grave concern over the exposure and appealed to all concerned media persons to clarify their stand effectively.

“The paper is made viral in social media including influential WhatsApp groups which would multiply the number of viewers within a short span of time even the mainstream media may ignore the revelation,” said JFA president Rupam Barua adding that the media should stand united and react to the development collectively at the earliest.

In the report, however, no confirmed source has been quoted.

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