A large number of members of MUFP family who met under the Freedom Tree this forenoon, unanimously condemned the unwarranted raid in the house of journalist and writer Mr Dandapani Mohapatra at Chungudikhol in Ganjam district on March11, without any search warrant, while Mohaptra was away from home.
Mohapatra is also the General Secreary of Dakhina Orissa Sahitya Sammilani since over past 25 years, and is known for his free thinking and raising voice against corruption and nepotism in the society and administration through his writings.
Mohaptra, who was present at the MUFP meeting narrated how five van loads of police belonging to five police stations, reached his home and virtually terrorised his family members and broke open all the boxes and packets containing books, newspapers and personal documents. They seized some old copies of “Ghadaghadi” magazine (now defunct) and some other magazines, which he had collected and preserved in his personal library. Then the police forced his only son Gautam Buddha Mohapatra to sign on some plain papers. The local Sarpanch was also asked to sign on some plain papers.
During the raid, a police officer had said that Mohapatra’s house was raided because of his links with Naxal leaders.
While returning after conducting the raids for around five hours, Mohapatra informed, the S.D.P.O. Chhatrapur, who was leading the police team, asked Mohaptra’s son to ensure that his father should meet him at Chhatrapur immediately failing which he would have to face serious consequences.
The members of the MUFP felt that this was a deliberate attempt by the police to harass and terrorize the media persons and writers with an intention to shield free flow of news and information, which is a very dangerous phenomenon.
While condemning the police action, the MUFP demanded that the Government should use caution while dealing with media persons and writers and should not harass them physically and mentally in such manner, unless they have enough of evidence against any one. Government should try to realize from the case relating to arrest of Mohana based journalist Laxaman Chaudhury under false and baseless allegations about his ” Naxal link” for exposing misdeeds of the local police, and subsequently the Inspector-in-Charge, Mohana police station had been caught red-handed and arrested by the vigilance sleuths for partnership with a ganja mafia.