Discover issued to Manipur journalist below New Digital Media Guidelines withdrawn after Centre intervenes

Amid widespread outrage over the announcement to journalist Paojel Chaoba’s news agency, The Frontier Manipur, the center stepped in and asked the state government agency to withdraw it with immediate effect. The revocation was issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and made it clear that it had not delegated any powers to the state governments with regard to compliance with the new regulations for digital media, MANYA SAINI.

T.HE Manipur Police have decided to withdraw their legal notice against news organization The Frontier Manipur (TFM) and its Executive Director Paojel Chaoba hours after its release under the new digital media guidelines. The declaration of revocation states: “It should inform you that this official notification with an even number dated March 1, 2021 will be withdrawn with immediate effect.”

Commenting on the withdrawal, Chaoba informed The Wire that he found the notice on his office door at 6 p.m. “It was signed by the same Imphal West District Judge Naorem Praveen Singh,” he said.

The move comes amid national outrage over the announcement calling on the news agency to produce documents demonstrating compliance with the new rules defined in the Information Technology Rules (Mediation Guidelines and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) of 2021. The media and civil society had raised significant concerns about organizations such as the Internet Freedom Foundation on freedom of expression and the press after the action against The Frontier Manipur.

Here is a more precise photo of the notice of withdrawal

– Ushinor Majumdar (@_Ushinor) March 2, 2021

Amit Khare, Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, wrote to the Manipur government clarifying that only the Ministry has the authority to request documentation, disclosure of information, compliance with the code of ethics and correction of the grievances in the three-step mechanism. It added that no authority was “delegated to the state governments, the district judge or the police commissioner. The letter was addressed to Manipur Chief Secretary Rajesh Kumar on March 2 and related to the notice to the editor of Khanasi Neinasi, signed by the district judge.

UPDATE: This letter may clarify why the notice was withdrawn.
Secy @GoI_MeitY wrote to DM-Imphal saying:
1. The central government has powers according to new IT rules
2. Rules apply to media platforms
Can we conclude that we are not targeting social media discussions at random?

– Ushinor Majumdar (@_Ushinor) March 2, 2021

The first announcement contradicted the online discussion held by TFM on its official Facebook page, titled “Media Under Siege: Are Journalists Closing a Tight Rope?” Panelists included Chaoba, local independent journalists and TFM staff, Kishorechandra Wangkhem, Grace Jajo and Ninglun Hanghal.

The weekend show regularly takes up questions related to the fight against freedom of expression, expression and media. The talk show episode that the Manipur government objected to, by the way, looked at the new digital media regulation rules that the center announced last week and the impact of their implementation on news agencies. The announcement was sent the day after the broadcast was posted on Facebook, stating that TFM must adhere to the new guidelines as it provides news and current affairs on the social media platform.

Chaoba, speaking to The News Minute, questioned the authority of the appeal officer and asked for the information to be provided. He has also called the announcement a “systematic attack on media and digital media” and condemned the involvement of police officers in the search for documents.

According to Chaoba, six to seven police officers entered his office on March 2 with the notice. He also said that TFM has not broken any laws and therefore the government’s action “shows that we are being oppressed by the regime, we are being beaten with such communications. It’s intimidation, systematic harassment, and repression. “

(Manya Saini studies journalism at the Symbiosis Institute for Media and Communication in Pune and is an intern at The Leaflet.)

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