After a national news channel linked the violence in Manipur with a temple attack incident in Shillong, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma today urged the media to be responsible and to not give it a communal colour.
The news channel’s headline over the Mahadev Khola incident on July 24 drew parallels with the ongoing Manipur conflagration. The fracas at the temple from earlier this week saw a dispute over payment for a soft drink lead to an assault of several persons by a gang. Police insist that there was no communal angle to the incident.
The CM appealed to everybody not to give this incident a communal colour as it will lead to unnecessary tension and is incorrect.
“This incident was completely between two groups and two individuals, which had nothing to do with religion. We expect the news agencies also to be responsible to not give it a communal colour,” Sangma said. “If it goes beyond a certain point then we will take action against the agencies that unnecessarily create this kind of a picture. Because the agencies should do their homework first, find out the facts and only then come out with any kind of news. But I will reiterate, there is no communal or no religious angle to this incident.”
Meanwhile, there is much discussion in local press circles about who is responsible for sensationalising the incident. The news channel in question appears not to have a local reporter in Shillong. Another employee of the channel suggested that the news had come from an agency, but which agency this is has yet to be ascertained.