Shillong(Meghalaya), Jan 14: Home Minister James Sangma is yet to respond to the demand by journalist bodies of the State that he should apologise for the misbehaviour with a senior journalist E M Jose.
The Meghalaya Editors’ and Publishers’ Association (MEPA) and Shillong Press Club (SPC) have last week asked the minister to tender a public apology.
They have also submitted two separate letters to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informing him about the misbehaviour and mistreatment by the Home Minister James Sangma on a senior journalist.
However, the home minister has not yet responded to the apology demand. Even the chief minister is maintaining silence on the matter.
MEPA, an apex body of all media houses of the State, in a letter to the chief minister on January 8 had asked the chief minister to direct the erring home minister to apologise for the incident which will help in restoring a cordial relationship between the government and the media fraternity in the State.
In another letter, the Shillong Press Club (SPC) sought an unconditional apology from the home minister, with assurance that such unwanted behaviour will not repeat failing which, the “press fraternity will take recourse to other options”.
According to SPC, over the years, James Sangma has been the most inaccessible minister of the cabinet and accused him of being “downright arrogant”.
It may be mentioned that on January 6, the home minister came face to face with E M Jose, the News Editor of The Shillong Times after he avoided speaking to eight waiting journalists who had waited for him when he emerged out of his office chamber in the secretariat.
While avoiding the journalists, James accused the journalists of blocking his way and pushed aside Jose who was holding his hand in a friendly manner as part of the happy New Year greetings.
“What the hell you are doing” Why are you blocking my way like that?” the minister reacted he walked down the steps in the secretariat.
Seeing the unwanted behaviour of the minister, the senior journalist too reacted, “Who the hell you think of yourself? Who are you?”
The home minister then climbed up the steps with an intention to come face to face with the senior journalist and asked, “What is your problem?”
EM Jose also clarified that there was no intention to block the minister’s way.
“I only want to ask some questions, but I am not blocking your way. If I blocked you, you have your guards,” Jose had told the home minister.
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