At Bargarh, the place of the State’s Health Minister, a state government doctor is running a private clinic at Khajurtikra, ignoring his posting to Kalahandi. He is pediatrician, Dr Prafulla Patra. He and his family members in a combine with criminal intent and murderous ferocity have assaulted on 19 June 2012 four of the local journalists that were trying to verify allegations of exploitation and treachery in health care that a poor patient has raised against Dr. Patra as well as the clinic.
The affected journalists are: Byomakesh Kar (Kamyab TV ), Sri Rajesh Saraf (Naxatra TV) ,Sri Badriprasad Sahu ( STV ) and Sanjib Mahapatra, editor of a Local Oriya weekly Kosal Times.
Members of Bargarh Sambadik Sangha led by its President Shankar Ballav Mishra have already called on the Bargarh District Collector Bhabagrahi Mishra on Friday to demand the arrest of pediatrician.
An FIR has been lodged against the doctor and his family for the criminal offense but the local police are yet to arrest the culprits.
In protest against this official apathy, the Media Unity for Freedom of Press ( MUFP ) held a meeting today under the Freedom Tree in Bhubaneswar, where an affected journalist narrated how he was assaulted and a group of social activists from Bargarh also described how innocent patients are being exploited by doctors like Patra, who despite being government doctors, are running private clinics and operating in connivance with rackets in health care sector.
The MUFP condemned in the strongest terms the criminal assault on the media persons and while expressing its solidarity with the Bargarh Sambadika Sangha, demanded immediate arrest of the doctor and stringent action against him for this criminal act as well as other illegal activities by him and his family members.
The MUFP held that the attack on the Bargarh-based journalists was a direct attack on freedom of press and basic human values and exhorted the district administration as well as the state government to take appropriate action against the accused doctor and his family members without any further delay.
The MUFP also assured all media colleagues in Bargarh that it stands solidly behind them and will do its best to ensure that the guilty is punished and justice delivered to the fellow professionals who were subjected to the criminal assault by the doctor and his family.
Among others, MUFP presidium members Prasanta Patnaik, Sampad Mohapatra, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Rabi Das,Ashok Mohapatra, Chief of MBC TV, Sharada Lahangir , Bureau Chief of ANI, Ramesh Chandra Mohanty, Sujata Mohapatra of India TV, Rasmita Das of MBC Tv, etc. attended the protest demonstration.