Journalist detained in Myanmar – Jouranlists’ Forum appeal to PM

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The Journalists’ Forum Assam has appealed to the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh to look into the issue of the two Assamese  journalists who have remained untraced since their detention in Myanmar on December 3 last.

It has been reported that two Indian journalists, Rajib Bhattacharya and Pradip Gogoi of Assam, is reported to be detained in Myanmar by the Burmese army. Bhattacharya is from the newly launched daily newspaper Seven Sister’s Post from Guwahati. The newspaper is edited by former BBC journalist Subir Bhaumik. Rajib Bhattacharya went to take an exclusive interview from the Commander-in-Chief of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Paresh Baruah at the outfit’s bases located in jungles of China and Myanmar.

As per reports, R K Singh, Union Home Secretary for the information had revealed that two Indian journalists were detained inside Myanmar. Chief Editor of the newspaper and former correspondent to BBC, Subir Bhaumik confirmed that Rajib Bhattacharya had gone to Myanmar to interview Paresh Baruah. His wife, Rashmi Sharma, also a journalist, confirmed that it was a week since she last heard from her husband. However, Rajib’s father, former IGP of Assam Hiranya Bhattacharya stated that he had no information about his son going to Myanmar.

|t is to be mentioned that some officials in the Union Home Ministry had contacted Rajib’s wife assuring that Rajib was released by the Myanmarese authority and that he will enter Indian side on the same day. But till the news is being written, there is no information about the whereabouts of the duo. Even the Indian Embassy in Yangon denied having any information about them when Guwahati based journalists contacted the embassy. To make matters worse, there is no statement from either the Union Home Ministry, Myanmar Government or even the Assam State Government.

As such a formal request to the Prime Minister was made for taking personal interest in this matter, so that journalists Rajib Bhattacharya and Pradip Gogoi are traced and their return to India is ensured at the earliest.

Mentionable that several media had reported few days back that Paresh Baruah was captured in Myanmar, and Jiban Moran, the second-in-command of the hardliner faction of the ULFA,  also was nabbed along with journalist Rajib Bhattacharya. However as reported by Times of Assam earlier, both Paresh Baruah and Jiban Moran have been confirmed to be safe by a source of the outfit. However the same source had remained unanswered about Rajib Bhattacharya.

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