MEPA, SPC condemn police raid in senior journalist’s house, attack on press vehicle

Shillong, June 02: The press fraternity today condemned a raid by police in the house of senior journalist, Powell Sohkhlet here, and throwing of petrol bombs at the vehicle that carried The Shillong Times newspapers from Shillong to Tura on Thursday late night.

A statement issued by the Meghalaya Editors’ and Publishers’ Association (MEPA) expressed shock to learn that some masked Meghalaya police personnel, have stormed into the house of Sohkhlet, the Joint Editor of Mawphor, a prominent Khasi vernacular newspaper in the state.

“This act of the police has caused fear pschychosis and consternation to the inmates of the house, who were in deep sleep. This is high handedness, arbitrary and violation of laid down rules by the police with regard to house search without observing the laid down sections of the law under Cr.P.C,” MEPA said.

MEPA strongly condemned this arbitrary and unwarranted Act of the police and demanded that police responsible for this be punished immediately according to the law.

Moreover, MEPA vehemently asked the police authorities to desist from such acts in future, especially in dealing with scribes.

Further, MEPA strongly condemned those responsible for throwing petrol bombs at the vehicle that carried The Shillong Times newspapers to Tura last night.

MEPA appealed to the police to track down those responsible and punish them according to the law of the land.

MEPA also appealed to all people of Meghalaya to demonstrate sanity during times of disturbances, not to lend credence to rumours and also not to take the law unto themselves but to show maturity and judiciousness by taking recourse to legal means to redress grievances with appropriate authorities.

Meanwhile, the Shillong Press Club also condemned the “arbitrary and ludicrous behavior” of Meghalaya police personnel who raided the residence of Sohkhlet who is also its general secretary.

“What is appalling is that all personnel except the team leader were masked as if afraid to disclose their identity and entered Sohkhlet’s residence without a warrant and in his absence, citing that they were looking for a family member who is a KSU activist. All personnel were male and they entered even rooms occupied by female members of the family thereby terrifying them and minor children as well. Was it necessary to treat a student activist as though he were a wanted criminal or a militant? Should not he be called to report to the concerned police station if at all the police needed him? Was it necessary to barge into his residence late in the night as if there was no tomorrow? These questions are just a brief of what one might deduce from this atrocious behavior,” the statement said.

The Shillong Press Club also took strong exception towards this uncouth and unprofessional behavior by the law keepers and demands stringent action be taken against the concerned personnel with immediate effect and expected that Meghalaya police and especially Shillong police live up to its declared mission of maintaining a ‘Safe and Secure Shillong’ at all times.

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