Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) feels that the Chief Minister’s inability to implement his assurances for protection of freedom of press is contributing to frequent attacks on media persons and in its extended meeting held at Lohia Akademi, Bhubaneswar on July 2, it has resolved to bring out a White Paper on organized attacks on Press in Orissa
The MUFP has resolved to organize an exhibition of photographs displaying attacks on the media-persons, their protest etc. and invite the public representatives, intellectuals, students, different civil societies including women organizations to visit the exhibitions and see for themselves about the plight of the media persons under the present regime. Subsequently such exhibitions would be organized in different districts and sub-divisional head quarters, the national capital and other important nerve-centers of the country.
The following resolutions were adopted in the meeting:
Resolution No. 1
Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) is deeply disturbed over total failure of State Administration to implement the Chief Minister’s repeated assurances for action against framing up media persons in false cases by the black-sheep in Police as well as physical attacks on them by the criminals and exploiters in Orissa. It unanimously holds that the Chief Minister’s inability to enforce his assurances has been contributing to rise in attack on Press. The MUFP strongly condemns the State Administration’s blatant failure to implement the orders of the Chief Minister to investigate into and take action against attacks on the Press and decides to wake up the public to the alarming situation by bringing out a white paper on attack on Press as well as by displaying pictures of the attacks and the victims of the gaggers of Press in public places in different parts of the State as democracy and journalistic ethics entail.
The MUFP demands immediate arrest of culprits involved in the attack against Kanak TV journalist Akhand and due compensation for or replacement of Mr Balaram Mohanty’s camera which was snatched away during the brutal attack on media persons inside the Silicon Institute of Technology .The MUFP urges the Commissioner of Police,Bhubaneswar-Cuttack to honor his promise to the MUFP delegation in this regard.
The MUFP also expressed deep shock over organized brutal attack on Sri Suryamani Mishra of Khabara by a group of miscreants and demanded immediate initiation of penal action against the culprits. It also demanded stringent actions against attackers on journalists in Kendrapara, Nayagarh and other places in the State.
MUFP notes that when the Working Journalists Welfare Fund lies defunct, the Chief Minister has been pleased to sanction funds from the CM’s Relief Fund for treatment of Enadu Correspondent at Parlakhemundi, Sri K. CH. Ratnam, when he was hospitalized for cardiac ailments. This Conference with pleasure appreciates the kind gesture and thanks the Chief Minister for his timely humanitarian help, even as it urges upon him to please activate and expand the corpus of the Welfare Fund in right earnest to fulfill its purpose.
Among others Subhas Chandera Patttanayak, Gopal Mohapatra, Prasanta Patnaik, Prafulla Das, Sudhir Patnaik, Manoranjan Mishra, Basudeb Mohapatra, Bauribandhu Moharana, Purusottam Thakur, Sharada Lahangir, Jatindra Das and Dinesh Das also spoke about the future course of action by MUFP to strengthen media unity and uphold Freedom of Press in the State despite all odds.
The speakers also appealed all the editors of newspapers and promoters of news channels and web media to extend their support to the MUFP in achieving their goal for protection of Freedom of Press.