No intention to gag media: Meghalaya Police chief

Shillong, Jun 2 : Meghalaya Police chief Rajiv Mehta on Monday said he had no intention to gag the media from publishing statements from organisations calling for shutdowns or rallies in the state, but said he has requested the high court to restrain the press from carrying statements from outlawed groups.

A bench of the Meghalaya High Court comprising Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh, Justice T.N.K. Singh and Justice S.R. Sen had passed an order on May 27 banning the media from publishing statements by organisations that call for shutdowns or rallies, resulting in disruption of normal life.

The order came after the state police chief requested the court to restrain the media from carrying statements by the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and other organisations calling for shutdowns and other forms of agitations.

"I only requested the court that the media must exercise restraint while reporting about outlawed outfits that is disrupting normal life in the state. I have no intention to gag the media but our attempt is to do the best at our disposal so that normal life is not affected," Director General of Police Mehta told IANS.

"How can a defunct organisation like the HNLC with 30-40 cadres operating from Bangladesh be allowed to calls shutdown and create fear psychosis in the mind and bring the state to a grinding halt?" Mehta asked.

Admitting that it was difficult for police to control if banned organisations use social media or put up posters to publicise their activities, Mehta vowed that police will continue to fight against anti-social elements and ensure that the rule of law prevails.

Militant outfit Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), fighting for a separate Garoland state in western Meghalaya, has said it would put up posters to inform the public whenever it calls for any agitation.