Whom to blame, if not the Government? Crime against Press is alarmingly increasing in Orissa. Penal law implementation authorities are not taking any action against involved criminals. When on July 13 a female reporter had to test how nasty could become the personnel under uniform at Bhubaneswar, a rural reporter at Nirakarpur has tested on July 23 at Nirakarpur how numb may be police in presence of the mafia.
Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) has issued a statement insisting that the Police should rise to the occasion and arrest the culprits in order to arrest the unchecked attacks on Press. It has also demanded that the State government should bear all expenditure for proper treatment of the journalists affected by attacks due to their professional roles. Here below is the statement:
MUFP is shocked to know that a local mafia gang has perpetrated a murderous assault on Samaj reporter Ramnarayan Das, in presence of the area Tahsildar and Police at Nirakarpur in the district of Khurda.
A social worker of Nirakarpur area had declared to immolate himself in front of the office of the local Revenue Inspector in protest against official inaction against destruction of the eco-system by looters of minor mines on July 23. The Tahsildar and Police officials had gone to the spot to dissuade the social worker from self-immolation.
As Sri Das was taking the version of the Tahsildar in the matter, two local mafias – one of them a former Sarpanch – warned him of dire consequences if a single line was published in his paper in the matter. Das protesting, the former Sarpanch Subas Dalasinghroy suddenly attacked him with murderous fury and soon Sri Das was rendered unconscious by the mafia gang as the Tahsildar and the Police could not obstruct the mafia though Das has narrowly escaped death.
The Police have registered a case (No.62/10) u/s 294, 323, 324 and 506 IPC. But despite being the eye-witness, it has not yet arrested the culprits who are therefore in a position to tamper with the evidences of their crime.
MUFP has taken this murderous attack on a rural reporter seriously and calls upon the Police to arrest the culprits without any delay and thanks the fellow journalists of Khurda district for the solidarity they have shown to Das.
The MUFP further demands that the Collector of Khurda should grant from the Red Cross fund under his disposal necessary amounts for treatment of Sri Das and also urges upon the State government to bear the entire cost of his treatment.