Imphal: The newspapers and local television channels in Manipur observed a shutdown on Thursday in protest against “the failure of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s commitment” to pay the outstanding advertisement bills amounting to Rs 15 crore.
The leaders of the Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and the Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union (MHJU), which called the strike, earlier postponed their cease-work stir from December 11 after the Chief Minister assured to clear a part of the outstanding payments by December 10.
Local television channels went off the air on Thursday. However, there would be no impact of the local newspapers on Friday.
The leaders of the EGM and the MHJU said if the state government does not respond after Thursday’s strike, the media houses would boycott the news related to the Ministers.
If there is no tangible attempt to clear the outstanding money against the advertisement bills, all government news and those related to the ruling parties would be boycotted, they said.
Manipur state Congress President N. Loken, who is also an MLA, said that the state government is running “depending on overdraft” and it cannot pay even the MLAs’ local areas development fund.
Manipur has around 40 newspapers and many local cable television channels.