Unfriendly Assam Rifles put roadblock on journalists

Morung Express News
Dimapur | April 24
Troops of the 29 Assam Rifles have become an eyesore to media persons travelling the 40km road stretch to Hebron Camp to cover the stand-offs between the Naga group and AR and other events in the recent months.
The belligerent attitude of the 29 AR even towards the media seems to belie the Assam Rifles’ much trumpeted slogan “Friends of the Hill People.”
On Tuesday, media persons traveling in a van to cover the programme of handing over of arms earlier seized by the NSCN (IM) from 29 AR jawans, were stopped by 29 AR troops at Doyapur and temporarily prevented from going further to Monglumukh village where the “handing over” event was to take place.
Asked the reason why media persons were stopped even as other civilians were allowed to proceed after frisking, one of the AR jawans shot back that it was the order of the “Tiger.”
Queried further who the “tiger” was, the jawans pointed to their commandant, Col. Rakesh Bhardwaj, who along with his junior officer, Maj. Sukanta, emerged from the nearby fields to meet the scribes.
When the media persons enquired from Col. Bhardwaj why they were being stopped, he replied that there was no point for the media to go any further as the “handing over” programme would be held at Doyapur itself. It was only after media persons called up the CFMG chairman, Maj Gen (retd) N George that they could proceed to Monglumukh.
It may be mentioned that earlier on January 14 media persons encountered a similar situation when security forces prevented the NSCN (I-M) collective leadership from visiting Zunheboto. On that day, media persons had stopped their vehicles at the barricade set up by the security forces at the Urra-Bade bridge and some were walking forward on foot when the same Col. Bhardwaj waved them to stay put. It was only after the intervention of a superior officer that they could proceed to record the happenings on the other side.

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