MEDIA UNITY FOR FREEDOM OF PRESS SENDS MEMO OF PROTEST AGAINST ATTACK ON MEDIA TO GOVERNOR OF ODISHA

Shocked over the Chief Minister’s discernible negligence to protection of freedom of Press, the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) decided on 7th of February 2011 not to meet any functionary but to apprise the State Governor of events of assault on media persons by way of a memorandum through internet.

Here below is the text of the memorandum:

To
Hon’ble Governor
Raj Bhawan
Bhubaneswar

Sub : Rising trend of criminal attacks on media persons

Hon’ble Sir,

With a sense of deep anguish and anger we at the Media Unity for Freedom of Press  wish to draw your kind attention to the latest instance of a brutal and murderous attack on a fellow journalist, Rajat Ranjan Dash of the Sambad by the Chairman of the NAC, Pipili and his criminal gang on the 4th of February 2011 for daring to expose his corrupt deals through a news item . Sri Dash is being treated for multiple fractures and head injury at the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar.

The very fact that the people in Pipili chose to block the NH-203 for hours in protest against the murderous attack on Sri Dash soon after it happened clearly proves that the report on the chairman of the local NAC filed by Sri Dash in his newspaper did reflect the truth and people’s sentiments.

Sir, we have met with the Chief Minister repeatedly in the last 15 months to draw his attention to the growing number of cases of murderous attacks on media persons by vested interest groups and people with political clout. But unfortunately all his promises of ‘stringent action’ against the guilty have proved to be hollow.

Sir, the state government has done little so far to instill a sense of security among media persons. In fact its gross indifference to the cause and protection of media freedom has encouraged corrupt and criminal elements to attack media persons at will. The police have often been found to be on the side of the attackers and in fact there are several instances when they have themselves targeted media
persons.

Under such circumstances we would like to appeal to you to kindly consider instructing the state government to (a) issue definite directions to all district collectors and police heads across the state to ensure highest protection to media persons  and (b ) to submit a report to you stating the action taken on the petitions submitted by the MUFP to the chief minister since December 2009 .

Sir, we urge upon you to kindly intervene in the matter and ensure a sense of security and freedom for the media and media persons operating in the state. We are sure you would agree that a healthy democracy presupposes the presence a free, vibrant  and independent media that any effort by vested interests to scuttle or endanger media freedom would be to the detriment of every section of our democratic polity.

With high hopes that you would do the needful and deepest regards

Yours sincerely

Prasanta Patnaik, Rabi Das, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Prafulla Das, Gopal Mohapatra, DN Singh, Sampad Mahapatra, Sudhir Patnaik, Ramesh Mohanty, K.Ravi, Basudev Mohapatra, Kedar Mishra, RL Patnaik, Manoranjan Mishra, Sabyasachi Panigrahi, Sarat Paikray, Lambodar P Dash, Gourprasad Rajguru, Bipin SIngh, Amar Patnaik, Dr SS Ali, Rajkishor Das, Sukant Routray, Kamalakant Pati, Deba Choudhury, Sarat Kumar Rout, Umesh Chandra Ray, Suresh Ch Mohanty, Priyanath Sahu, Jajati Mohanty, Pratap Kumar Barik, Sukant K Pradhan, Suryamani Mishra, Bijay Kumar Nanda, Jeeban Ray, Seshadev Nanda, Durga Charan Nayak, Samanway Nanda, Sanjay Jena, Lipsa Tripathy, Kishore Chandra Mangaraj, Akhand, Baishnav Jena   Bauribandhu Maharana and others

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