Meghalaya CM Assures to Omit Clause Against Media

Shillong, Jan 18 : Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang today agreed to omit the clause from its notification whereby the media was restricted from reporting bandhs, strikes and ‘hartals’, in face of pressure from various quarters.

”The government has decided that the media should have the freedom to report on bandhs, strikes and hartals,” Deputy Chief Minister In-charge Law Bindo M Lanong said.

The State Cabinet approved a notification declaring bandhs, strikes and ‘hartals’ ”illegal” in the state and even banned the media from disseminating information on such agitations in Meghalaya.

The notification would bar a person or group of persons, political parties and organisations from holding bandh or any form of agitational programmes.

”Violators will be dealt as per provisions of law and are bound to pay the causes of damage due to bandh as per the amended Meghalaya Maintenance Public Order Act, 1953,” Mr Lanong said.

The fourth estate was also warned of punitive action if it carried reports of agitations.

However, the media took exception to the proposed notification, stating that the clause was means to ”gag the press”.

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Editors and Publishers Association (MEPA) met the Deputy Chief Minister and expressed their objection in this regard.

”I have spoken to the Chief Minister and he has agreed to omit the clause from the notification banning media from reporting such bandhs, strikes and hartals,” Mr Lanong assured.

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