Is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his high-tech security advisory team wary of Northeast media, especially Assam?
Or may be, both the Prime Minister and the security system consider Assam or the Northeast media a security threat.
In a surprise move, an intimation comes at the eleventh hour that ‘due to security reasons’ and on an ‘advisory’ issued by Special Protection Group (SPG), primarily engaged in the security of present and former Prime Ministers, no media persons from any regional or national media houses will be allowed to cover the Bogibeel Bridge inauguration programme, except of course government media.
This is viewed as nothing but a reminiscent of the Emergency period where the much-hyped, over-delayed and controversial inauguration of the Bogibeel Bridge is mired in another fresh controversy – barring the media.
Finally it was made official that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would inaugurate the Bogibeel Bridge over River Brahmaputra, the longest rail-cum-road bridge in the country on December 25 next.
Notably, the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, Assam through its Dibrugarh district information and public relations officer had asked media persons representing various media houses working across Assam to submit requisite testimonials for issuing specific media accreditation cards to get entry into the formal inaugural function at the south bank of the Bogibeel Bridge in Dibrugarh.
However, with just one day left for the programme, a message in the official whatsapp group of DIPR, Assam has intimidated that ‘due to security reasons’ and on an ‘advisory’ issued by Special Protection Group (SPG), no media persons from any regional or national media houses will be allowed to cover the programme, except of course government media.
Concerned circles and several senior journalists are of the view that this amounts to censuring the media totally from an important national event that will even invite global attention.
Now the big question is – what security threat Narendra Modi has in Assam?
May be the recent reports of the upsurge of the ULFA-I in the State might have prompted the security agencies to take such an arbitrary decision.
It is noteworthy that the N Biren Singh led BJP government in Manipur had very recently booked a prominent journalist Keshorchandra Wangkhem under National Security Act (NSA). His offence was just that he criticized Modi and Biren Singh with regard to their ‘governance and anti-people policies’.
Now, the fact remains, people will have to rely on just the grand old Doordarshan and the archaic (no offence please) All India Radio to know the goings on of the grand inauguration of the Bogibeel Bridge.