Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Bringing into memory the ‘Media Unity for Freedom of Press'(MUFP)days, the community of State Level Journalists has condemned the monstrous misconduct of BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty with a memorandum given to the Chief Minister on Thursday for his intervention, highlighting how absolutely anti-Press was his rowdy and intimidating demeanor that publicly insulted a journalist for working in OTV, the media major belonging to the family headed by his political rival Baijayant Panda.
To quote senior journalist Sandeep Sahu, “Anubhav had taunted Manoj Swain, the Kendrapara reporter of OTV, a leading TV channel in Odisha, and humiliated him by dragging him in front of the camera by his shoulder to ‘show’ his face. He also started a sarcastic round of clapping, faithfully joined in by his followers, to complete the shaming of the journalist.”
This record of the nasty episode shows, Mohanty humiliated the journalist only because he happens to be a worker (Karmachari) of Panda’s TV channel. This is most disgusting and deserves to be seriously taken by the Chief Minister, who ought to understand that a reporter cannot be pushed into such ignominy by his man in the Parliament for having been a working journalist in an organisation that belongs to his political rival.
Mohanty has a habit of misbehaving with the journalists as suggested by an early event. Purighat Police Station, Cuttack had to book him under Sections 294 (obscene act in public), 354 (A) (sexual harassment), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (criminal act) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the basis of an FIR filed by a lady Journalist in the month of June this year.
It is sad that, the Chief Minister is yet to feel ashamed of the public misconduct of his MP.
The MUFP had brought out a whitepaper on attack on Press in Orissa which had put a leash on such incidents for a remarkable period. The whitepaper deserves to be updated now.