Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa’s politico-executive climate is favoring the unsocial packs to attack reporters and cameramen anywhere anytime to intimidate the Press that increasingly is exposing the anti-people activities of administration.
Starting from clamping of sedition charges on upright journalists by the police to physical assault by trade operators through hired goons has become norm of the day in Orissa.
He was attacked while Covering how the public meeting organized by Mahagujar Coal and Power Plant of Adani group to cultivate support in its favor in the guise of hearing public grievance was provoking mass protest that was getting acutely acrimonious from moment to moment.
In fact, the Adani group’s attempt to brainwash people was becoming so unbearable that the local general public threatened by the jeopardy their living environment was being pushed into by the industry and executive nexus, had set the meeting tent ablaze in collective wrath and Nath was truthfully recording whatever was happening on the spot, including how the Adani group was using the Orissa Government officials against the aggrieved indigenous community.
All on a sudden, a group of goons jumped on him with iron rods and did not stop by bitting him to bleed, but destroyed his camera with which he was recording the visuals.
Journalists of the district have reacted sharply to this incident. They have demanded strong action against the attackers. Different associations of journalists have reprimanded the administration for having failed to foresee to what extent public wrath may go when the people’s living environment was severely threatened with aggressive advancement of the land-grabbing and polluting industry and administration’s recalcitrant attitude towards public protests against proposed official accommodation to the same.
People were massively maddened by mounting sense of insecurity as the officials were lobbying for the industry and therefore the so-called public grievance hearing camp in the office compound of the local Tahsil was perceived by them as the cruelest of farce being played on their being and belonging by the unholy combine of private industry, executive officials and political leadership.
The administration should have kept note of this, the journalists feel.
Nobody knows whether aggrieved people, irritated over Nath’s camera capturing the eruption of their wrath, became violent against him or the goons engaged by administration / industry made the attack to wipe out visual evidence of their foul play.
But the fact remains, Nath was brutally attacked and his camera was destroyed by unidentified fellows when he was taking into records the details of what was happening in the name of public hearing.
“Such dangerous trend of attack on journalists by the police, administrative officers, politicians and anti-socials has certainly posed a serious threat for the profession as well as to the lives and properties of journalists who are trying to expose the anti-people activities of officials, politicians and vested interests” Nath has said in a communication.
(Pictures from firstname.lastname@example.org)