GUWAHATI, June 28 - The Assam Press Correspondents� Union (APCU) while welcoming the decision taken by the State Cabinet to pay ex-gratia to the next of kin of journalists killed by militants or miscreants, has stated that the government should fulfil its other demands regarding welfare of the families of slain journalists at the earliest.
The Cabinet yesterday had decided to pay Rs 3 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of each journalist killed by militants or miscreants.
It needs mention that the APCU had been demanding compensation for the families of journalists killed, besides a government job to a member of his/her family based on merit. The APCU had been demanding compensation amounting to Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of a journalist killed.
More than 25 journalists have lost their lives in the State in the hands of militants or miscreants since 1991. The first journalist to have lost his life in the hand of militants in the State was Kamala Saikia of Ajir Asom.
The APCU in a statement issued here said that the families of a number of slain journalists are in a pathetic condition. �We hope this aid will help the families of the journalists killed in the State to tide over their financial crisis for the moment. We would also like to urge the State government to take some steps for the welfare of the journalist fraternity,� said the APCU.
The other demands of the APCU include media scholarship for journalists, early implementation of a journalists� pension scheme, an insurance scheme for journalists, free education for the wards of journalists, free treatment facilities for journalists in government hospitals, 50 per cent discount in the treatment of journalists in private hospitals (by amending the relevant laws), etc.
The Journalists Federation of Assam and Dispur Press Club have also hailed the decision of the government.