‘Aren’t we supposed to bring out the truth?’: India Today journo ‘threatened’ over Manipur reportage

Afrida Hussain said a crowd assembled at her hotel in Imphal after she reported on a gunfight on May 29.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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A journalist with India Today has alleged she received “numerous threatening phone calls” with “mob” gathering at her hotel due to her reportage on the Manipur violence.

Afrida Hussain, deputy editor of India Today’s northeast bureau, wrote that on May 29, she had reported on a gunfight between security forces and “Arambai militants” in Sugnu. When she returned to her hotel in Imphal, she allegedly received many calls from purported Meiteis and also someone who claimed to be a senior official. This official “indirectly warned me about facing consequences”.

Hussain wrote that a large gathering also formed at her hotel, some to enquire why she had filed the story she did. She then briefed her superiors and had her hotel room changed, but said the situation was tense until the police dispersed the mob at 1 am. Two hours later, a team from the Assam Rifles, whom Hussain had contacted, allegedly evacuated her to a “safer location”.

Hussain’s report on the violence in Sugnu, with visuals of people carrying guns, were aired on India Today’s prime-time bulletin, while she had filed a report on the gunfight for India Today NE.

Hussain said the threatening phone calls “continue to haunt” her. “Aren’t we supposed to bring out the truth? No one questioned me when I went to Manipur on May 5 and covered Kuki militants. But one thing against the majority community got me into trouble.”

Newslaundry had spoken to a 20-year-old from Imphal whose mother and brother were murdered by vindictive mobs. Jamngaihkim Gangte has now fled to Delhi. Read about her ordeal here.

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article image‘Must be able to work without fear of abuse’: CPJ condemns journalists’ ‘assault’ in Manipur


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