Bhubaneswar, January 13: Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) strongly condemns the incident in which a Reporter of Oriya daily `Dharitri’ was manhandled by police officers and not allowed to attend a press conference at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police at Saheed Nagar on Wednesday (January 12).
According to some reporters who were present at the said press
conference, Dharitri reporter Somnath Sahu was not only threatened of
dire consequences by none else than DCP Himanshu Lal but also
manhandled by the police officers present there.
The DCP and some other police officers, including ACP (Traffic) Nirmal
Satpathy and IIC of Kharavel Nagar police station Satyajit Mishra had told
Somnath Sahu that Police Commissioner Bijay Kumar Sharma had instructed them
not to allow any Correspondent of `Dharitri’ to attend the press conference.
Mr Sahu, the reporter concerned and the police officials involved in
the incident have filed complaints leveling allegations against each other with the
Saheed Nagar police. MUFP hopes that the law will take its own course.
But the journalist community of the Capital city is aggrieved over the
fact that the Police Commissionerate has become increasingly
intolerant of objective and critical reporting by media persons in the
recent months and resorted to high-handedness.
The MUFP demands an immediate probe into the incident on Wednesday by
a top Home department official and strong penal measures against the guilty
police officials and appointment of officers who respect the laws and not misbehave with
media persons. The authorities concerned should also take corrective
measures to ensure free and fair reporting by the media.
MUFP has decided to stage a protest demonstration under the Freedom
Tree outside Jayadev Bhavan at 4 pm today (Thursday) to condemn the
police action and highlight its demands.
For Media Unity for Freedom of Press,
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak,