Guwahati: Two senior journalists of a Manipur-based digital media portal have received notices from the state government under the newly-notified Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 over an online discussion. However, the notices were withdrawn soon after.
The notices were served to ‘The Frontier Manipur’ executive editor Paojel Chaoba and its associate editor Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha. The duo and two others had participated in a discussion titled “Media Under Siege: Are Journalists Walking A Tight Rope” on February 28.
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The report makes TFM the first media portal in India to face a notice under the new digital media rules.
The two editors were asked to provide documents to prove compliance with the provisions of Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, “failing which steps as deemed fit shall be initiated without further notice”.
Paojel Chaoba revealed that the first notice was delivered to him on Tuesday at around 9 am by a group of armed police personnel. He claimed that this was done to intimidate him and his family.
He also revealed that the discussion programme under question was the one where panelists discussed the new IT rules and also the situation of journalists in Manipur.
The notice was finally retracted on Tuesday evening after issuance of another one.
“It is to inform you that this official notice of even number dated 1st March 2021 served to you stands withdrawn with immediate effect,” the new notification by Imphal West District Magistrate Naorem Praveen Singh read.