Express and Explore Yourself

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Woman journalist's condition stable, no arrest so far

On Sunday July 15, gunmen in Itanagar
shot journalist Tongam Rina of the
Arunachal Times from close range when
she was entering her office at about
 6:15 pm, police said. Thirty-four-year-old
Rina is the associate editor of Arunachal
Times, a popular daily and the first English
newspaper of the state owned by former
chief minister Gegong Apang.
ITANAGAR: The Arunachal Times journalist Tongam Rina (32), who was shot at by an unknown gunman on Sunday evening, is recovering at the R K Mission Hospital here. The doctors successfully conducted a surgery on her on Sunday night. However, she will be kept under observation for the next 24 hours though her condition is stable.The associate editor of the daily was shot at when she was about to enter her office in Itanagar. Journalists in Arunachal Pradesh demanded the immediate arrest of the attacker on Monday. A case has been registered in the Itanagar Police Station and a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against the unknown gunman.

Chief minister Nabam Tuki also convened a high-level meeting on Monday to assess the situation, calling for a serious and thorough investigation into the incident. The meeting was attended by the chief secretary, DGP, DIG and capital deputy commissioner.Tuki condemned the attack on Rina, saying that "attack on the media is an attack on the people and therefore, an attack on the government." 

"The criminal - whatever be his or her identity - has to be arrested and arrested immediately," Tuki asserted. The CM directed the chief secretary to sound red alert in and around the state capital complex and launch an extensive hunt to nab the culprit. The DGP informed that ITBP and CRPF personnel are assisting the state police in the search operation. Nakas have been put up at various locations with orders to frisk each and every vehicle. All entry and exist points to the capital have been sealed and monitored by security personnel, who are specifically on the lookout for unauthorized and illegal possession of arms and weapons.

Tuki assured the media fraternity that their freedom of expression will be ensured at any cost and appealed to them to cooperate with the government in the investigations. While praying for speedy recovery of Rina, he said that the government will bear all the expenses of her treatment.He also appealed the people to remain calm. "A criminal is a criminal....without any religion, tribe or community. The law won't spare him or her at any cost. The last thing we need at this moment is giving the incident a communal or political colour," Tuki said, adding that this is a challenge that has to be faced and overcome collectively.

Meanwhile, Governor General (retd) J J Singh has termed the attack on the associate editor of Arunachal Times as an act of cowardice. He condemned the attack on the freedom of the media, saying that media is the strength of our democratic society. Conveying his concern to Tuki, he said that those involved in this shameful act should be arrested at the earliest and made to face the law of the land.

The CM, who had rushed to the hospital on Sunday evening immediately after the incident to take first-hand information of Rina's condition and coordinate with the medical authorities, is continuously monitoring her recovery. An official of the CMO has been deputed in the hospital to oversee her treatment.Rina was rushed to the nearby R K Mission Hospital by her colleagues, where she was operated on by a team of the state's leading surgeons. The bullet has been removed and she is recuperating in the hospital at the moment.


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