A language weekly has been attacked today by a gang of women allegedly as its leader and her NGO had hit its headline in the first part of October, 2010. The embarrassed and intimidated editor of the weekly has moved the Capital Police Station seeking action against the miscreants and protection of his office and staff. Media Unity for freedom of Press has condemned the attack. Below is its statement:

Editor of EPA weekly, Aneel Prasad Mishra has informed the Capital Police Station by way of FIR today (26 Oct.2010) that a group of about 150 ladies led by Smt. Rutuparna Mohanty of “Maa Ghar” forcibly entered into his office at about 12 noon and abused him in vulgar languages. They threatened him with dire consequences also.

On what Mrs. Mohanty and her troop pivoted their assault on the Weekly transpired to be a report in its Vol. 11, Issue No. 28 edition
published on 14 October, 2010.

If Maa Ghar and Mrs Mohanty are aggrieved by a published report, they
are free to take any step permitted by law against the concerned
media. But their group showed scant respect for law and the way they
tried to intimidate Sri Mishra and his staff is clearly an organized
infringement on freedom of press.

Even as MUFP is strong in its opinion that Press should be
meticulously cautious in reporting on women, it wants to make it clear
that reporting any matter of public importance cannot be vitiated with
gender considerations. The MUFP, therefore, condemns equally strongly
the gang act of intimidation resorted to by the organized group of
ladies that Mrs. Mohanty led against the weekly and calls upon the
Police to take action against the gang of ladies for the alarm it has
caused to the weekly editor and his staff by trespassing into its
office and by shattering its work-environment.

MUFP condemns in strongest terms any attempt to gag or threaten
newspersons or news media organizations for any news published or aired by them especially when various legal options of redressal are available to the affected person or institution. It also demand stringent action against all those found guilty after due inquiry by the police.

MUFP will continue to monitor the developments in this case and will take appropriate steps to protect freedom of Press.

Prasanta Patnaik,
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak,
Sampad Mohapatra.
D.N. Singh,
Rabi Das,
Gopal Mohapatra,
Prafulla Das,
Dwijen Padhi.

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