The Meghalaya Editor and Publisher Association (MEPA) has demanded an unconditional apology from state Home Minister James Sangma for his misbehaviour with a senior journalist.
In its emergency executive committee meeting held on January 7, MEPA resolved to demand an immediate public apology from Sangma for his misbehaviour towards the senior journalist and also to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.
“Media has the right to ask question from those in power and if the right of the media is throttled, the future of democracy will be in peril,” MEPA General Secretary John Wilson Thabah said.
Thabah said the members of the association discussed the incident in detail and felt that the behaviour of the home minister towards the senior journalist was unbecoming of his stature since the journalist concerned and his colleagues present had wanted to meet the minister and discuss various issues related to the state.
“Since James K Sangma is a minister in charge of various departments and also the fact that he is the official spokesperson of the MDA government, the journalists must meet him to get the version of the government on various issues. But how the minister conducted himself and even trying to aggressively confront the senior journalist is condemnable and unacceptable,” Thabah said.
On Tuesday, the media fraternity in Meghalaya has also demanded an unconditional apology from Sangma for his misbehaviour with journalists on Monday.
The journalists, who met on Tuesday at Shillong Press Club, also condemned the minister’s uncalled-for behaviour with the press people waiting at his office door for a meeting with him to seek answers to several questions, currently being raised by the public.