Bhubaneswar, September 28, 2012: A delegation of the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) comprising its Presidium members Prasanta Patnaik, Subhas Pattanayak and Sampad Mohapatra met the Director General of Police Mr. Prakash Mishra on September 28 in his camp office at Bhubaneswar and apprised him of how police power has been misused to intimidate the press as well as to gag freedom of expression by interfering with media responsibility to investigate into acts of illegalities that includes interviewing the suspected miscreants for news purpose at Bhuban in the district of Dhenkanal, where journalists have been implicated in cooked up cases as the inspector in charge had a grudge to settle against reporters who had exposed the nexus between the police and unsocial elements.
Mr. Mishra assured the delegates that the matter shall certainly be looked into and the press shall not be allowed to be gagged.
The MUFP delegation handed over a memorandum to DGP Mr Mishra which stated that the Police in Bhuban have implicated four local media persons in a false case as the local police had a grudge to settle with them, irritated as it was over publication of some news items exposing its misdeeds as well as certain miscreants going scot free, despite offenses even against public peace and tranquility. Reports in Odisha Bhaskar dated 19.8.2012, Samaya dated 30.08.2012 are samples of exposure on police misdeeds that explain as to why the police at Bhuban is prejudiced against the media persons.
It further said “the MUFP was informed that a large sum of money granted from MPLAD fund for renovation of a local playground has been misappropriated by a group of miscreants which the local Press had stumbled upon. And, to preempt media exposure, in an attempt to intimidate the media persons, the police have been used to implicate the journalists in the false case.
Against this backdrop, the NUFP urged upon the DGP to please ensure appropriate investigation into police misconduct exposed in news items published prior to registration of the FIR in the case in question as well as into the reasons of police haste in this particular matter and to ensure fair investigation by removing the IIC, who is allegedly personally involved with the offense.