GUWAHATI, June 29 - The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) has strongly condemned the alleged attempt by the Centre to gag the media by stopping government advertisements to the newspapers that have exposed the government�s anti-people acts. The student body demanded that the government should immediately stop such repressive measures to protect the democratic values.
The Central government�s Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) has stopped issuing advertisement to The Assam Tribune since February allegedly on �instructions from higher-ups� and it is learnt that the action was taken for the stand taken by the newspaper on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that by trying to gag the media, the Central government is trying to prevent the truth from coming out. He expressed the view that since its inception, The Assam Tribune has been raising its voice in the interest of the indigenous people of the entire northeastern region of the country, while the newspaper is also upholding the interests of the nation.
Bhattacharya said that whenever any threat came to the indigenous people of the Northeast, the newspaper always played the role of the leader. At the same time, The Assam Tribune has always been playing a major role in national interest, the student leader added.
He said the sentiments of the people of the Northeast are involved with The Assam Tribune and the government should not have acted in an autocratic manner to gag the media. �Though the government could not impose censorship on the media directly, it is trying to do so indirectly, which is not a healthy sign for democracy,� he said.
The AASU chief adviser said as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, members of the State Council of Ministers and the legislators are aware of the role played by The Assam Tribune in the interest of the region, they should take up the matter strongly with the Central government and ensure that the decision to stop DAVP advertisements is withdrawn immediately.