GUWAHATI, Feb 25 � The Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists (APFEJ) has expressed deep shock and sorrow at the self-immolation of a Guwahati city dweller demanding land rights and urged the authority concerned to initiate due consultations to resolve the issue amicably.
The journalists� forum also appealed to the hundred thousand conscious citizens of Guwahati to take proper initiatives for safeguarding the reserve forest areas and wetlands inside the city from unwanted human
APFEJ, whose head office is based in Bangladesh, opined that an incident like self-immolation for a cause of land settlements is surprising and also unheard of in the history of Asia Pacific region.
While appreciating the Assam government for its pledge to safeguard the hills and wetlands of Guwahati, the APFEJ, in a statement issued by its chairman Quamrul Chowdhury, stressed that the government in Dispur must show its sincerity in recovering the arable lands already grabbed by big business groups in the city areas.
The APFEJ also requested the media, primarily the satellite news channels, to avoid repeatedly airing the visuals of burning as it may result in tremendous psychological implication on the children and young people.
Finally, the forum has appealed to the agitators to make their point of views clear regarding the demand for the land settlement to city dwellers that may have gone against the environmental interest.
However, it insisted on city dwellers getting land rights in separate localities of the city, which do not fall under the eco-sensitive zone.