POLICE IMPLICATES MEDIA PERSONS IN FALSE CASES TO PLEASE BHUSAN STEEL: MUFP

Media Unity for freedom of Press (MUFP) is worried over Orissa Police implicating working journalists in false cases to please the management of Bhusan steel Plant at Dhenkanal. The design is aimed at intimidating the Press in order to drive media away from highlighting the unfair labor practices of the industry that affects the workers as well as the harm it causes to living environment of the people.

We place below the MUFP statement:

The attacks on media persons in Odisha is now on the rise. The latest
example of a sinister attack against media professionals by the unholy
nexus between the industrial investors and administration is from Dhenkanal where Bhushan Steel Ltd, infamous for its unethical practices and extremely poor track record in safety standards has filed an FIR naming two committed local journalists for allegedly instigating its striking workers.

Two Dhenkanal-based journalists- Sri Pradeep Senapati of ETV and Sri Jayant Nath of the Sambad – who had been to the Bhushan Steel Plant on 3 February 2012 to cover a demonstration by its workers have been named as co-accused in an FIR filed by Bhushan management stating that they were among those who had instigated the workers to protest against the company.

The local police have already registered a case against them based on the Bhushan FIR and that means their arrest is only a matter of time.The local police is eager to pursue the fabricated FIR because they are hand in gloves with the company and also because they are equally perturbed by the pro-people reports filed by the two reporters in the past.

Bhushan may have reasons for its disappointment over the unwillingness of these reporters to play to their tunes in the last few years. But filing an FIR implicating them in a matter relating to workers’ agitation against the company has transgressed all limits of acceptable behavior.

The MUFP takes strong exception to such unwarranted aggression against
the media by Bhushan Steel Ltd and condemns the heinous attempt by a
private investor to muzzle and terrorise media persons. It also warns the company against any such attempts in future. Bhushan Steel Ltd must immediately delete the names of the two media persons from its false and fabricated FIR failing which the MUFP will be forced to take to agitational means across the state .

The MUFP also warns the state government against any move to protect
Bhushan Steel Ltd and its nasty attack on media persons.

MUFP will hold a protest meeting under the Freedom Tree in Bhubaneswar
at 11 am on Tuesday  (14 February 2012) if the Bhushan Steel Ltd and the state government fail to take remedial steps in the meanwhile.

For MEDIA UNITY FOR FREEDOM OF PRESS (MUFP ),
Prasanta Patnak,
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak,
Sampad Mohapatra,
Rabi Das,
D.N. Singh,
Gopal Mohaptra,
Sudhir Patnaik,
Dwijen Padhi.
Members of MUFP Presidium.

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ORISSA GANA SAMAJA THANKS THE MEDIA

Orissa Gana Samaja joint conveners Prasanta Patnaik and Rabi Das have expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all the members of print, electronic and web media for giving adequate coverage to all the programs of the movement of the Gana Samaja in connection with Pipili gang rape case and to press the 8-point demands of the Samaja.

In a statement, both Patnaik and Das said the media persons and organizations have played a commendable role in highlighting the issue and creating massive public
opinion against the criminals, police officers, politicians who were trying to suppress facts for reasons best known to them . Media also played a commendable role in exposing the alleged criminal  negligence by the police and the medicos in providing timely treatment to the victim.

Orissa Gana Parishad hoped that it will get continued cooperation and encouragement from all friends in the media in future for the best interests of the people of Orissa.

Dismissal of Former IIC of Pipili PS is a Classic Instance of How Naveen is Hoodwinking the People

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Director General of Orissa Police has dismissed the former Inspector-In-Charge of Pipili Police Station, Amulya Champatiray, for serious dereliction in duty that has endangered the life of a Dalit girl and ruined her family. The order is being used to hoodwink the people.

The guilt of Champatiray is discernible to naked eyes. So, people are happy over his dismissal. But the dismissal is discernibly farcical, because it is not legal and cannot survive the test of law.

Champatiray had protected the alleged rapists of Pipili by not registering FIR on receipt of the allegation of gang rape and of attempt to murder that has sent the victim into coma.

So, he deserves the severest of punishment and deserves no sympathy.

But, with the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as the Police (Home) Minister, his dismissal is crafted so cunningly that despite his offenses, he shall get back his service by challenging the order of dismissal in appropriate Court of law; because no Court will allow rape of the Constitution by any Governmental authority. Then, the present mass demand for action against him shall stand defeated.

Let us see how.

The DGP has dismissed Champatiray under Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution of India. But in doing so, the DGP has gone against this provision.

Willfully?

If yes, then certainly under instruction of the Chief Minister, for it is he, who was eager to hoodwink the people in Panchayat polls, in this matter.

Let us take a cursory look at the scenario before looking at this constitutional provision.

The media exposed the Pipili felony and then only the shocked family members of the victim could resurrect their shattered courage to disclose the names of the rapists, pointing out how the police has protected them because of their area MLA Pradip Maharathi.

Maharathi tried to intimidate the media, threatening media persons for having relied upon the victim’s family members to link his name to the crime.

This threat instantly ignited an unprecedented public rallying with the media, spearheaded by Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP).

Maharathi had to resign from ministership and to beg apology to media, as people of Orissa, through non-BJD political parties, civil societies, NGOs, trade unions et al had woke up to form, for the first time in the history of Orissa, a platform of solidarity, which they named ‘Orissa Gana Samaj’ against the unprecedented misrule.

This mass awakening fidgeted the CM, specifically as he was to face the people in Panchayat electioneering, like never before.

He was eager to show that the fellows involved with the felony were punished.

Champatiray was transferred from the Pipili Police Station and as that was not enough to assuage public wrath, was put under suspension.

Maharathi was asked to resign and his resignation was accepted, keeping the public in dark about the reason of his resignation while allowing him to boast of having taken moral responsibility for the wrong done to the dalit girl in his constituency.

The layer of protection thus shattered, the gang-rapists, whom the police had known from the beginning, were arrested one after another.

Added to the judicial inquiry invented earlier to hoodwink the people, Maharathi’s resignation, arrest of the rapists and Champatiray’s suspension should have pain-killing effect on mass psyche, the Chief Minister must have thought. But pain in mass mind was becoming more acute.

It was urgent for the CM to dazzle the Panchayat voters with a blaze of severe action against officials but for whose protection the criminals could never have escaped the law for so long a time.

Therefore, the government has transferred Puri district Superintendent of Police Amitendranath Sinha and dismissed the then Pipili IIC, Champatiray from service.

No better cover could have been invented to hide the misrule as exposed in Pipili gang rape case. The CM is now equipped with new arsenals to save himself from public wrath in Pipili context. His mouthpieces have already started saying that Naveen’s administration is so clean that provisions of instant dismissal under Article 311 (2) (b) have, for the first time, been used against an IIC of Police for dereliction in duty. A pro-Naveen TV channel was used last evening for this purpose where majority of time was devoted to bit the BJD drums that by dismissing Champatiray the message has been given to salaried employees that whosoever of them neglects implementation of laws would not be spared in the government that Naveen runs.

But the Government knows, so also Champatiray, that the dismissal order is too week an order to survive a legal challenge and by challenging it in an appropriate Court, without prejudice to any other action that future may think prudent, Champatiray will certainly be reinstated in service, as the said article used in his dismissal is misused.

Let us see what is provided for under this Article.

Article 311

(1) No person who is a member of a civil service of the Union or an all-India service or a civil service of a State or holds a civil post under the Union or a State shall be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed.

(2) No such person as aforesaid shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which he has been informed of the charges against him
and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.

Provided that where it is proposed after such inquiry, to impose upon him any such penalty, such penalty may be imposed on the basis of the evidence adduced during such inquiry and it shall not be necessary to give such person any opportunity of making representation on the penalty proposed:

Provided further that this clause shall not apply—

(b) where the authority empowered to dismiss or remove a person or to reduce him in rank is satisfied that for some reason, to be recorded by that authority in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry.

So, the stress of this provision is irrevocably concentrated on the opportunity of self-defense to be given to the officer in course of inquiry on the anvil of dismissal.

Avoidance of inquiry is not permissible except where “it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry”.

Champatiray has not absconded and was never beyond the reach of the police for inquiry. It was never therefore “not reasonably practicable to hold the inquiry” against him. The DGP has not recorded in writing the reason of why it was “not reasonable practicable” to hold the inquiry.

It is noteworthy that simultaneously with dismissal of Champatiray, the Puri SP has been transferred on the same ground of dereliction of duty in Piplili gang rape context. So it is confirmed by the Government that Champatiray was not alone in protecting the criminals. Had there been the inquiry as contemplated in the Constitutional provision cited supra, the SP’s role in keeping the culprits out of police reach could have come to light. Then the IPS officer must have been forced to face the charges of protecting the criminals and for whatever damage has been done to the gang rape victim. And, it would have embarrassed the IPS circle. Probably this is why the inquiry needed under Article 311 (2) (b) of the constitution has been ignored.

This willful conduct of the DGP of Orissa in keeping an IPS officer of national cadre safe from prosecution while dismissing a lower officer of State cadre is a game that the government should have foiled. But,no such step is taken.

It is clear, therefore, that the constitution is raped in dismissing Champatiray and knowingly so.

No court shall approve this rape of Indian Constitution by the DGP of Orissa.

And, by publicly endorsing the action of the DGP in this matter, the executive government including the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary as well as the political government headed by Naveen Patnaik, and Naveen Patnaik himself, have individually and collectively committed the rape on the Constitution of India having full knowledge of the mischief they have resorted to.

In doing this, they have ensured that Champatiray’s stage-managed dismissal would be nullified by the appropriate court in course of time; and therefore, it is not out of context to suspect that the oder of this illegal dismissal might have been passed in connivance with Champatiray himself.

It certainly is a well planned order – because it certainly is not believable that the DGP as well as the functionaries named above have not understood the language of Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution – to provide Champatiray with the environment of service-safety that certainly would come to him as and when he challenges the order and therefore, is not meant for punishing the offender; but is contrived to hoodwink the people at the moment when Panchayat elections are a challenge to the Chief Minister.

Attack on Freedom of Press Exposes Government as Anti-People: Prasanta Patnaik

(input from Manoj Kant Dash)

Eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik called upon media community to act unitedly for protection of democracy, when the government of the day is failing in its duty in this regard.

Consecrating the evening to the second day of Mahanagar Mahotsav at Ganjam Kala Parisad, Berhampur, on 17 January, the veteran media man came down heavily on the environment of infringement on freedom of Press, the pivot on which democracy gathers its strength.

By subjecting media persons to cooked up cases in order to frighten them away from exposing anti-people activities of administration, democracy is being pushed into doldrums by the very persons that are required to serve and strengthen democracy. This syndrome must be extinguished by use of alert pens and lenses that the media persons are equipped with, he said.

Amongst others who graced the occasion were Ranjan Tripathy, Bhubaneswar Bureau Chief of Kamyab TV / Manojkant Dash, Editor-in-chief of Odishabarta.com / Rabi Rath, Editor of Navin / Siba Prasad Mishra, Advocate / Susant Sabat, social activist / Rajesh Mohan Patnaik, Advocate / Biswanath Patnaik, Secretary of the Mahanagar Mahotsav Committee and Susil Patnaik, Managing Director of Assu India Parivar that sponsors the Mahotsav. Convenor of the Mahotsav, senior Advocate Sudhansu Sekhar Panda was in the chair.

Odishabarta.com chief Manoj Kanta Dash coordinated interaction of local media persons with Patnaik, when the Mahotsav was anchored by Surya Narayan Patro and Kartik Panigrahi.

Sri Patnaik was felicitated on behalf of the Mahotsav Committee and Assu India Parivar.

Rapists’ Alleged Shield in the State Cabinet Intimidates the Press

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

People in Orissa have become such habituated with keeping mum in the prevalent environment of crime that the students and social activists – usually the most vocal in collective civil causes – were not even daring to raise voice against the negligence to the Pipili rape victim – battling for life under coma – till media coverage made it a matter worth sharp societal attention.

NOW the civil society stands in solidarity with the victim and she is receiving medical care at SCB Medical College, Cuttack, where a couple of days ago treatment was denied to her.

The Pipili Police Station in-charge, who had remained gravely negligent to the case of the victim has NOW been displaced by way of transfer and police has registered the case that then it was not looking at.

The family members of the victim, who were not daring to utter the names of the bruits that perpetrated the crime, lest they further torture, are NOW pointing their accusing fingers at them and unambiguously naming them even before the cameras.

NOW there is no aloofness in the public and many have started believing that police can no more succeed in covering up endeavor, if any.

But NOW the loudmouthed leader of the ruling party, the Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathi has become very angry with the media. He has hurled alarming words at media persons and media organizations for having carried the versions of the victim’s family members, in a style akin to act of intimidation.

Whither the State?