The Editors Guild of India has strongly denounced the filing of FIRs against its President and members of a fact-finding team by the Manipur Police, along with the intimidating statements made by Manipur's Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, in response to their recent report.
The Guild finds the Chief Minister's characterization of the journalists' body as "anti-State" and "antinational" deeply disturbing, particularly given the Indian government's emphasis on democratic principles and freedom of speech on the global stage in the run-up to the G20 summit.
In a press statement released on September 5, 2025, the Guild expressed its deep concern over the FIRs registered against their President and the fact-finding team that had visited Manipur to investigate and assess India's media coverage of ethnic clashes in the state. The Guild also expressed shock at the Chief Minister's remarks.
The Editors Guild of India took action following numerous representations from civil society groups and the Indian Army, which raised concerns about the role of media in Manipur's ongoing ethnic conflict between the majority Meitei community and the Kuki-Chin minority. To address these concerns, a three-member team was dispatched to Manipur to examine media coverage and the challenges faced by journalists.
The team conducted extensive meetings with a cross-section of stakeholders, including reporters, editors, representatives of the Editors Guild of Manipur, the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union, civil society activists, public intellectuals, women affected by the violence, tribal spokespersons, and representatives of the security forces operating in Manipur.
The comprehensive report, released on September 2, 2025, aimed to facilitate introspection and critical analysis of the media's role in a complex and sensitive situation.
The Editors Guild of India has expressed disappointment that the state government has not responded adequately to the concerns raised in the report. Instead, the government has invoked multiple provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) in the FIRs. The Guild has acknowledged and corrected an error pointed out regarding a photo caption and remains open to further discussion.
The Guild reiterates that the report's primary objective was to encourage reflection on the media's conduct in such a sensitive situation and calls on the government to withdraw the FIRs.
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