A large number of members of Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) belonging to print, electronic and web media paid homage to Aaj Tak camera person Mukesh Kumar, who died in a road mishap on Saturday at a very young age. The media persons, who gathered under the Freedom Tree near Soochana Bhavan, silently prayed for a minute for the departed soul to rest in peace.

The MUFP in a resolution requested the Orissa Chief Minister to sanction at least Rs 5 lakhs to the young widow of Mukesh Kumar and his two-year old son, whom Mukesh has left behind.

The MUFP further resolved to approach the Orissa Government to reconstitute the almost defunct Orissa Journalist Welfare Fund and name it as Media Welfare Fund by enhancing its corpus to Rs 2 crore. This apart, the Government should require the State and Central Public Sector Undertakings as well as media organizations to contribute to the fund. There should be a considerable representation from media to take decision about sanction of funds to media persons and their families at the time of their need, the MUFP resolved.

In another resolution, MUFP has demanded scrapping of all the cases instituted against Sambad reporter Laxman Choudhury. Choudhury is facing prosecution under charges of sedition being so framed up by the police boss of Mohana. Choudhury’s version is well on records that he has been framed up by Gouranga Mohanty, Inspector-in-charge of Mohana Police Station as he had exposed his connections with the Ganja underworld. With the State Vigilance police apprehending Mohanty while taking Rs.10,000 from a Ganja mafia towards his share of profit from the illicit trade, the modus operandi behind framing up Laxman by the same officer stands exposed. Hence the CM should take prompt steps to drop the false cases filed against Choudhury, MUFP has stressed.

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