Indian Women's Press Corps

July 16, 2012

The News Editor/ Chief Reporter


The Indian Women Press Corps strongly condemns the attack on Tonggam Rina, associate editor of the Arunachal Times in Itanagar on Sunday evening as she was entering her office to supervise the edition. The 34 year-old journalist was entering her office when she was shot at from behind by unidentified assailants who later fled. The senior journalist is also the President of the Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists. Last evening, Rina underwent surgery and is reported to be stable.

Attacks on the media are not new in the Northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh. Three months ago the office of the Arunachal Times, a leading English daily of the State, was attacked. One-and-a-half years ago, another two women reporters, Appu Gapak and Nyapi Bomjen of The Sentinel (Arunachal) were attacked in Itanagar by the local police while on assignment. Despite strong evidence and a case being registered against the accused, the attackers have not been brought to justice till date.

The Indian Women’s Press Corps, a body of 600 leading women journalists drawn form the print, electronic and the digital media, strongly criticises such increasing assaults and brazen attacks on women in general across the country and urges the Central and respective state governments to ensure and protect the safety and security of all women. Steps should also be taken to speedily investigate and persecute those involved in crimes against women in order to deter such assaults in the future.

The attack on Rina follows the shocking molestation of a teenager by a mob in Guwahati on July 9. In this outrageous act, a woman was stripped and molested for thirty minutes in the vicinity of a police station, till some passerby came to her rescue. The incident was filmed by a local television channel and was widely shown on to social networking sites and national networks, without pixelating the victim’s face, raising questions about sensationalising and voyeurism by the media.

Although official investigations are taking place, eleven of the perpetrators have been identified and only seven arrests have been made so far. The IWPC strongly urges the authorities to take firm remedial action to prevent the occurrence of such heinous incidents and to apprehend the remaining of the accused persons at the earliest.

T K Rajalakshmi (President),
Mannika Chopra (General Secretary)

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