Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
(Pictorial input from Atulya Mohanty through Prasanta Patnaik)

ORISSA MATTERS strongly condemns the brutal attack on media magnet Soumya Ranjan Patnaik by the Orissa Police that hounded him into the residence of Rabinarayan Pani, a ruling party MLA, before inflicting on him injuries, simply because he belongs also to the Congress party, that had a tremendous congregation before the Assembly on September 6 in protest against continuous misrule by the BJD.

For a corrupt and anti-people Government, the last hope for survival lies in terrorizing its opponents. The bloody attack on the Congress congregation by use of the Police, therefore, is not surprising.

Having usurped power under circumstances not yet clearly comprehended by many, but clearly when minemongers even of foreign countries were zeroing on Orissa, the nature’s monumental depository of mineral wealth, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has given a government that has earned a non-dismissible disrepute as a government more eager to oblige mines-eyeing industries than the land-loosing indigenous people.

The administration’s dubious conduct in squandering away mines apart, people have reasons to be aggrieved in every sphere, as corruption has become so all-pervasive that shrewd fellows in the lowest rank in government offices like night-watchmen and peons have become multimillionaires. How much the top functionaries have benefited is not easy to fathom out. In the language of the Opposition, it is a loot raj.

Against this loot of the State, the Congress party had given a call for protest in front of the Assembly. More than a lakh of people congregated in the earmarked area on the Mahatma Gandhi road on September 6. Government did not tolerate.

The pictures would present what happened.

Blood oozes out as corrupt administration promulgates brutality.

They had no qualms in attacking the rally participants before TV cameras.

Brutality knew no limits. So many police personnel pried upon a single person.

The rightful congregation of Congress party was held with permission from the appropriate authority.

Yet the police terrorized the participants to flee.

The attackers.

State terror knows no barrier.

Office of the Opposition vandalized.

Another blood-drenched victim of the suckers of the State.

Tolerance reached the last limit.

The people retort.

Wrath knows no fear.

When the people retorted, a good many number of police personnel suffered injuries.

The congregation was politically surcharged, yet peaceful. Had the police not been rash and rather could have been vigilant enough to control the agent provocateurs, the road named after Mahatma Gandhi would not have witnessed the avoidable violence.

14 Responses

  1. Dear Subhas Babu,

    I have gone through your report about brutal attack on media magnet Soumyaranjan Patnaik. As far as I know as an eye-witness to the event, it was never a deliberate attack on Mr Patanik. He came to join the rally and address it as a Congress leader and never as a media-person on duty. I am sure none would have touched him if he would have stayed on the podium till the last. Because he was surrounded by unruly crowd he became a victim.

    I was an eye-witness to the event . The meeting was going on peacefully until Mr Jagdish Titles spoke. He provoked the Congress workers to march towards the Assembly by breaking the barricade. He virtually instructed them . All the electronic media including Mr Patnaik’s Kanak TV during the direct telecast had shown how Mr. Titler was provoking.

    Among all Odia dailies only DHARITRI has given a true minute to minute account of the rally and violence.

    From the TV footage you can see that many of the Congress activists were more violent than the police. The policemen have restrained to the maximum limit.

    Though I feel sorry the manner Mr Soumyaranjan sustained the injury,I do not consider it as an attack on media. Many media persons have also sustained injuries which can be considered as ” professional hazard.”

    I again thank you for the nice coverage with good visuals by Atulya Mohanty.

    Prasanta Patnaik

    • Thanks dear Prasanta Babu for the eye-witness account. No doubt, the conduct of Sri Jagdish Tytler was quite irresponsible; but it was as is his wont. Nothing better could have been expected of him.

      As you must have marked in these pages, I have repeatedly shown how the central leadership of the Congress party has been doing everything to weaken the Party’s Orissa unit in order to help the POSCO facilitator continue in power. Tytler is an instrument used for this purpose since long. One of my article was captioned “Tytler’s Visit was meant to Suppress the Legislative Conscience of CLP Members”.

      This time also Tytler was used to play the tricks on the Congress members of Orissa. In his conduct I see the role of the compradors who have kept our State under their grip.

      How the Congress is against the Congress in Orissa was also discussed in these pages earlier on 10.1.2009. Here is the link.

      Even further earlier a write-up here was captioned “Is the Congress using Maken to ruin Congress in Orissa?” A click here would lead to that link.

      There are more such articles in ORISSA MATTERS that say of how the Congress central leadership is hand-in-gloves with Naveen Patnaik to keep the Orissa Pradesh Congress weaken so that their fellow server of foreign interest remains unchallenged.

      The Tytler role, that you have depicted, is a part of the secret pact between the Congress high command and Naveen Patnaik, which the Congress leaders of Orissa are yet to understand.

      So, if Tytler provoked the gathering as you have observed, it was because of the game plan formulated by the nexus aforesaid. And, it is because of that, instead of using law against Tytler – the main agent provocateur, Police had helped him go with escorts.

      As regards the attack on Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, he was not beaten on the venue of the meeting or on being held in flagrante delicto. He was, as I have noted, hounded into a ruling party MLA’s residence and thrashed. No civil society can countenance such illegality. Yes, he was there as a political leader, not an editor. But as we all know, he is more known as editor of Sambad and chief of a chain of media organizations than which party he belongs to. Some men rise to be known by the profession they pursue. Soumya Ranjan is such a man. Therefore the caption.

      Just as an illustration, may I remind you of how the Orissa High Court had taken it as a contempt, because, the body of a retired judge, who died in the train while traveling, was not kept with honor and dignity that a living judge deserves. This is because, a judge, alive or dead, is considered an incarnation of justice.

      The same logic applies to a mediaperson. Irrespective of situations he lands in, a mediaperson remains so, if he, in his being and becoming, is one with his profession. Soumya babu is one such person. We know,media is his passion as well as his mission. Therefore I feel, ‘media magnet’ is the epithet that perfectly fits into any attempt to speak about him. My heart is with the dear members of our fraternity who suffered injuries in the free-for-all environment created by the rash action of police. As we discussed after the incident, we take it as a professional hazard. But I am sure, if police could have controlled itself, this hazard would not have touched any of our friends in the profession.

      Thanks again for the supplements.

  2. subash babu,pranam. thank u for your visuals and your narration. still i think, the congress men atlarge first provocated police after which the unthinkable events followed. any way this is politics. no party is a sadhu. all are saitan. this is my personal feeling. bibudharanjan.

    • Dear Bibudha babu,
      Many thanks for the time given to the article and for the feedback.

      I fully agree with your observation that “no party is a Sadhu” inasmuch as “all are Saitan”.

      When compradors have already changed the country from a socialist republic of our dreams to a plutocratic republic of their design, and the communists are in so much dereliction that they feel no qualms in keeping mum over this reality, it would have been surprising if any other term you should have used to describe the member of the political community.

      But my point is, if provocation was part of the Opposition stratagem, reacting thereto in the manners of a Dracula was not what the Government should have done.

      If there was provocation, the Government should have foreseen the possibility of such provocation and the basic responsibility of the police should have been defined well ahead of time to catch the agent provocateurs, not to have unleashed the tactics of intimidation and tricks of state-terror.

      The government had the responsibility to maintain not only peace, but also public tranquility, which it has failed to do, because of absence of concern for the people in its agenda.

      Just imagine the volume of damage done to children living in residences at both the sides of the M.G.Road, when the police subjected civilians to state-terror on the road itself.

      What right the Government has had to affect the psyche of the children and their families in the locality in such assertively inhuman manner?

      The Congress congregation was certainly not organized to sing glory to the Government. It was organized to condemn the Government for all its corruption, mischiefs and misrule.

      It was a political program the performance whereof cannot be termed as an act of provocation to attract police brutality.

      Every iota of provocation in every action of the congregation was meant to provoke the government to wake up to the needs of the people perishing in the labyrinth of official negligence, bureaucratic bungling, political nonchalance.

      The Government should not have read it in any manner other than an active endeavor to rouse it from its slumbers.

      So, the government is unambiguously guilty in precipitating the show down.
      Thanks again for having joined the discussion.

  3. Sir, I went through your article and also on all comments. Instead of diving deep into minute by minute calculations, one should consider the underlines of the issue. For the first time Congress could gather such numbers against present government and could disseminate the message to public about corruption, nepotism and mal-administration of the Naveen Patnaik Government. This could be taken as the first success of the opposition in Orissa.

    The issue of media hounding is altogether slipped to corner by our dear media friends, who rather exhibiting police provocation, “a natural reaction” and comment the attack on lady constable, “more deplorable than the corruptions of the government”. The way Shri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik was hounded to a MLA’s quarter and canned by police is only to use the best of the chance of the situation. Because to stop the logic that a media magnet is brutally tortured, there may not be a better plot.

    • Thanks Dear Devi for the brilliant observation.

      Instead of seeing what the Government wanted us to see, the media should have brought to light how a properly licensed and legally approved political rally was waylaid by the administration, so that the people could have been made aware of how democracy is turning into a Police raj.

      When the Press stands for liberty, Police Raj stands for the opposite.

      It is really a matter of regret that media in general has failed to look beyond the curtain in this matter.

      Thanks again for the upright, alert analysis.

  4. Totally false and one sided report.
    All of us are aware of the truth, we have seen live telecast of this incident.

    Mr. Reporter be neutral. Please do not deviate us/local people/eye witness from truth and reality.

    • dear sri sahu,
      thanks for the time given to the report and thanks for the feed back.

      In response to your observation I would like to say
      that the report in question is neither false nor one-sided. It is absolutely a neutral report depicting what others might be in difficulty to see.

      Your reaction has raised a larger issue which needs an elaborate discussion. Therefore, I deem it proper to deal with it in a separate write up. You may please find it under a caption “Investigation Needed into Whether or Not the 6th September Violence was Government Induced”. Thanks again.

  5. […] have caught the visible pictures of police action and of protesters’ reaction thereto. We have just kept a few of those pictures on records as a contribution to living history. Nothing personal. No […]

  6. Subas Sir, I am sorry, if I sound loud. I have great respect for you and Orissa Matter.
    But the report you presented is not as we expected.
    Media Magnet Soumya Ranjan Sir was present there as a congress leader, not as a reporter or representative of his owned news-cum-entertainment agency.
    Odisha is a peace loving state.
    This is totally unjustified that the police engaged in the security of senior leader Tytler, Niranjan Babu, Women leader Bijayalaxmi madam were attacked by congress workers.
    You see lady conestable Pramila Padhy was engaged in security of Bijayalaxmi madam, she escorted her to a safe place and while returning Mrs Padhi was attacked by workers. What was her fault ?
    Many senior congress leader blammed DCP for deployement of lady conestable in controlling the mob. But lady conestable are to handle with women. Our law does not permit gents cop to handle with women.

    Over the all, I can see that Mr. Tytler as the chief accused. His speech was more provocating rather political. He should be banned from coming Odisha.

    A bright future is waiting for the ODISHA congress party but condition provided that Tytler should be kept away from Odisha Congress.

    Thanks Mr. Subas Pattnaik
    Long Live Orissa Matter

    Swastik Sahu
    a regular reader of Odisha Matter

    • My Dear Sri Sahu,
      Thanks for the comment. Beating of the lady constable Ms. Padhi,who was, as you say, escorting Bijayalaxmi Sahu, points to only one possibility that either the plain-clothed police or BJD workers were involved with the mischief. Congress workers beating the lady constable who was escorting a lady leader of their own seems not possible.
      As regards Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, despite his political link with the Congress – he was earlier with the BJP – to me, he is a media man. He has changed political sides; but he has stayed constantly with the media. He has other activities like Ama Orissa too. But principally he belongs to the media. On Howard Zinn, Boston Herald had a tremendous observation. It had said, “Before Michael Moore, there was Howard Zinn”. And Zinn was epitomizing the statement, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”. Here lies the soft thread of journalism vis-a-vis public life. So a man in media, whose basic concern concentrates on the common cause, may have a political role; but that political role, for which question may arise as to how far he is neutral, doesn’t do away with his basic identity as a media man. This is the reason, which had, despite Soumyababu’s political presence in the political congregation of the Congress party, made me mark him with his real identity, i.e. media identity. I had preferred to call him a media magnet, because, besides the Sambad, he has developed its sister journals and other massive mass media organizations like Jatra, Radio and Cinema. But this identity is not relevant. Relevant is: he was singled out by the police and was attacked by the police in the residential campus of a BJD MLA outside the area of the Congress congregation. If the police had marked him for any offence, it could have arrested him in the ruling party MLA’s campus; but instead of arresting, why the police assaulted him? What was the justification in beating him so hard to cause him physical injuries? Is it not a case of criminalization of the police by the BJD Government? Is it not a case of political misuse of Police by the Government against misrule of which the Congress had given the call of protest? This nuisance and anti-democracy mischief was discernible. And therefore, the report in question was written.
      I am thankful to you, Mr. Sahu, as you are a regular visitor to ORISSA MATTERS. You must have marked that in these pages I have exposed many mischief of the Congress including that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, even much before any in India had dared to open the lips or though any light on his treachery against the country. But there was no personal bias. Whatever information my research and my watch locate, I share the same with the public, as to me, the people have a right to be informed. I have never knowingly misinformed the public. In this case, this too is what I have done. I have shown how the police is used to demoralize the Opposition. It is easy to say that Tytler provoked the unrest. But it is the Government of Naveen Patnaik that provoked Tytler to say what he said. When the Congress had given the Vidhan Sabha Gherau call, why was it granted the permission to have the congregation near the Assembly? And, if the rally was granted the permission, why was the barbed wire barricade was put on the road to obstruct the rally? It was clearly a government mischief willfully and shrewdly contrived to teach the Opposition a lesson by permitting them to congregate before the Assembly and to sandwich the congregation between barbed wire barricades and the police equipped with mob controlling devices while setting plain-clothed police personnel and ruling party workers to act agent provocateurs equipped with arsenals to pelt at people in the gathering in order to create chaos and a mob condition so that police action would look justified. The general public had a right to be informed of this, which I did.
      Sometimes, adherence to norms of journalistic ethics makes one make a report that may not look similar to reports by many. But adherence to ethics is a personal preference that cannot be compromised. Therefore, my report differs from others. I am sorry; I have failed to stand up to your expectation. But I could not have persuaded myself to write what was not right.
      Thanks again for the timely comment; as I must say, it is a very helpful comment.

  7. Yes. Mr.Subash Babu what evr u say or write.
    All the whole of Odisha rajya knows what has happenned.
    Atleast we know what BJD is doing.
    But never we would allow Congress as the fucking rat of political system in total Bharatbarsh.. my India.
    They are the most corrupted.
    BJD or Naveen Babu will alws kip all Odias dream alive.
    They are atleast doin good.
    Only pt is only they are concerning & focusing much on bbsr or capital’s growth..
    They must seek growth in all other areas too..
    That’s it!!!

    • Dear Dave,
      Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Jefferson set this axiom and the whole world finds in it a guiding force.

      Vigilance is, of course, quite uncommon. Therefore, seldom a correct report appears. On the other hand, people usually see what they are guided to see.

      In ORISSA MATTERS, we have always tried to see beyond what is shown.

      In the matter at hand, my replies to different friends and a separate article to supplement the discussion, I believe, would be of necessary relevance.
      Thanks for the feedback.

  8. […] had stood out from others in the media in reporting the atrocious conduct of Police in shattering the program of the main Opposition party for Assembly blockade on September 6, purely […]

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