GUWAHATI, June 15 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today assured a delegation of the Assam Press Correspondents� Union (APCU) that the government is earnestly going to consider its long-standing demand for extending one-time financial assistance to the next of kin of journalists killed either by militants or miscreants.
A delegation of the APCU met the Chief Minister at Dispur and raised various demands and insisted that the issue of one-time assistance to the next of kin of journalists killed by militants or miscreants be immediately taken up by the government.
The Chief Minister assured the delegation that the demands of the APCU would be addressed, and that a Cabinet decision would be taken in this connection very soon.
It needs mention that since 1991 over 25 journalists have lost their lives in the State at the hands of militants or miscreants. The first journalist to have lost his life at the hands of militants in the State was Kamala Saikia of Ajir Asom. The plight of the families of a number of slain journalists is pathetic.
During their meeting with the Chief Minister, the APCU team raised demands like compensation amounting to Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of a journalist in the event of his/her killing by miscreants or militants, besides a government job to a member of his/her family based on merit, 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.