Thieves always see their enemies in the Moon

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Journalist Satya Prakash Nayak of Zee-Kalinga, who has been aptly, ably and fearlessly exposing the misrule that has engulfed Orissa, has posted the following words in social media: FaceBook.

In these testing times, it is indeed tough to tread on the path of ‘SATYAPATH’….After sincere and truthful journalistic career and scores of investigative stories, causing high impact, a commoner like me has attracted the wrath of the high and mighty. Sometimes my family is probed under the cover of ”regular inspection”. Sometimes I get threat calls that I shall be killed or thrown behind bars under false case of woman harassment. These forces however cannot deter my spirit. Coz my ISHWAR or PRABHU is on my side.I am ready to do Satya Ra Samna….Are you with me?

Our answer is the strongest ever possible: YES.

We know, ever since Naveen Patnaik has taken over Orissa, attack on Press has become as frequent as menacing. Attack on Journalists by criminals under the nose of the police,leading even to annihilation of some is as rampant in Orissa as arresting and torturing uncompromising ones under charges of sedition. In submitting a well documented White Paper on such menacing attack on Press, Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) had cited many instances including what happened to Kirti Chandra Sahu, Khuturam Sunani,  Meghanad Kharsel , Lenin Ray, Laxman Choudhury, Sriharsha Mishra,  Kirana Mishra, Jagannath Bastia, Banka Bihari Bishoi, Dinesh Das , Ashok Pradhan, Bolan Gangopadyaya, Abhay Pati, Dandapani Mohapatra,  Amulya Kumar Pati, Manas Jena, Sujit Mullick, Chandrakanta Das, Biranjan Mallik, Jagadananda Pradhan, Prasanta Patnaik, Akhand, Bhabani Das, Suryamani Mishra, Debasis Mallik, Ramnarayan Das, Srikanta Sahoo, Somanath Sahu, Kiran,  Prasanta, NM Baisakh, Anup Ray and Rajat Ranjan Das. A lady journalist – name kept hidden – was even molested by uniformed men at ISCON car festival, Bhubaneswar, such has become congenial the climate to crime against the scribes in Orissa. Attack on individual journalists apart media organizations are also being attacked by hooligans. An instance is attack on EPA weekly at Bhubaneswar.

The White Paper on Attack on Press in Orissa mentioned. “A major reason behind the spurt in attacks on media persons in Orissa is the state government’s growing intolerance to any view that does not toe the government line on corporate and mining interests –particularly those dealing in precious metals like iron ore and bauxite. These companies, people are told, will usher in ‘rapid development’, create enormous employment opportunities and make Orissa a land of milk and honey. There is a concerted effort to manufacture consensus on the need to roll out the red carpet to these companies and turn a blind eye to their flagrant violation of all laws and norms of civilized corporate behavior. When media persons refuse to buy this line and raise questions on the acts of omission and commission by the government and the corporates, the wrath of the government falls on them like a ton of bricks” (MUFP White Paper released on March 5, 2011)

The attempt to intimidate Satya Prakash Nayak is the latest instance of threat to Freedom of Press in Orissa. Thieves always see their enemies in the Moon. When Satya has been exposing the misrule that has engulfed Orissa, who is he that is seeing his enemy in Satya Prakash? Overwhelmed by attack on Press, for the first time in history of Orissa, members of Press had boycotted on records the proceedings of the Assembly in July 2010 and the whole House had expressed agony over the Government’s failure to protect the Press. We had suggested that a specific Law be enacted to ensure safety of journalists. Till date the politicians have stayed away from creating such a legislation. The following topic carries our suggestion. It was captioned:

Needed is a Law against attack on Press

MUFP Demands Public Apology from Minister

The Media Unity for Freedom of Press ( MUFP )has, in a statement today, expressed deep shock and surprise over the incident involving a cabinet minister’s assault on media persons on duty on September 15, 2006 inside his secretariat chamber. The Minister Mr. Bijayshree Routray seems to have forgotten all ethics and manners while dealing with press persons. Media persons in Orissa have been in the target of wrong doers for quite some time. Not even a month has passed since media persons were attacked and seriously injured by hired goons inside KISS and KIIT campus and the police have yet to take necessary action against the assaulters, a minister has personally attacked a media person on duty.
The MUFP demands unconditional public apology from the erring minister and calls for serious introspection within the media fraternity to find out reasons for growing attacks on media persons who are just doing their job of digging out truth for public sharing. The MUFP also appeals the Chief Minister to take all such issues seriously and initiate appropriate action against the attackers so that freedom of expression in the state is duly protected.

Is there any justice for the murdered journalist? Orissa should be ashamed of its pusillanimity

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A month has elapsed. As ORISSA MATTERS had put it, the killers had found the Police Station area in Khalikote in the home district of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik quite a safe place to commit the crime. Journalist Tarun Acharya was killed coldblooded by the terminators of human rights in the evening of May 27. But, Police that was sleeping then, is in slumber as yet.

It was a brutal assault on Press. Neither the Chief Minister in whose district this crime was perpetrated, nor the Opposition in the Assembly whom every moment to find fault with administration is a golden opportunity, have woke up to the occasion to shade even their meretricious tears on the loss of the precious life. Neither any politician worth his salt has condemned the murder nor has the Eastern Media Limited that was using his input to gain more audience stood even posthumously with the man, lest thereby his employment with the flagships of the organization may raise complicated labor issues.

In such a circumstances, eminent journalist and leader of Media Unity for Freedom of Press, Prasanta Patnaik has issued a statement appealing the conscience of everybody who loves democracy to react to this dastardly attack on the fourth pillar of democracy. We quote below his statement –

A month has passed since the brutal murder of our journalist friend TARUN ACHARYA of Khallikote in Ganjam district. Despite the demands of media persons through various journalist bodies and MEDIA UNIT FOR FREEDOM OF PRESS (MUFP) for arrest of all involved in this crime and to take exemplary steps by trying all the accused persons in the First Track Courts and giving adequate compensation to the next of kin of Tarun, s far the State Government has not taken any action.

Very strangely our popular Chief Minister Mr Naveen Patnaik and none from the Government have condemned the brutal murder nor have expressed sympathy to the bereaved family including his young widow, old parents and other family members.

It is a clear attack on the freedom of press in Orissa none of our political leaders including the leader of opposition have so far raised voice in the Assembly which is presently on session. None of the Civil Society bodies, intellectuals, women and youth organizations has also raised voice against such heinous attack on the Fourth Pillar of Democracy.

While only two persons allegedly involved in the crime have been arrested others have not been arrested and the police have not been able to reach at the root of the conspiracy and find out the persons really responsible for the crime.

Tarun, though was working for the SAMBAD and KANAK TV and his reports on the cashew mafia in these media is said to be the real cause behind his murder so far the management of this media house have not come forward to claim that Tarun was their reporter nor have taken any step strikingly condemning the brutal killing of a brave Journalist like Tarun Acharya.

I therefore appeal to all the media persons irrespective organizations they are working for and professional organizations to which they belong to join their hands and strongly fight against such threat to media persons in Orissa.

I also appeal to all professional bodies and MEDIA UNIT FOR FREEDOM OF PRESS (MUFP), all the editors, management of Media Houses to express their solidarity for this great cause of Orissa media and press their legitimate demands.

Friends who agree with my views may kindly send their suggestions at the earliest so that we can organize a meeting of all media friends working in print, electronic, web and visual media etc. to finalize our future course of action.

Chief Minister’s home district: Killer finds Police Station area safe for the crime

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The District belongs to the Chief Minister. The department of home (Police) belongs to the Chief Minister. Like all other Police Stations in the District, Khalikote PS is also equipped with carefully chosen Police Officers worthy of confidence of the Chief Minister.

Yet, the killer(s) slaughtered media person Tarun Acharya in the early night of Tuesday sans any fear for the Police even though the PS was in the proximity.


Acharya, only 34, was reportedly investigating into certain acts of felony, which could have become very problematic for the rogues.

Whether or not those rogues have murdered Acharya, the fact that a journalist could be killed so cold-bloodedly on the road nearing the PS, speaks volumes of how the environment there has become congenial to crime.

Various organizations of media persons including Media Unity for Freedom of Press have expressed solidarity with and demanded compensation to the bereaved family and punishment to the killer(s) without loss of time.

MUFP strongly condemns gang rape of Mumbai photo-journalist; Demands exemplary action.

BHUBANESWAR, AUGUST 24, 2013: The Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) is deeply shocked and anguished over the horrific gangrape of a 22-year old fellow journalist in Mumbai while she was on an assignment with her male colleague on Thursday evening.

While joining the nationwide protests against the crime and the demand for the harshest possible to its perpetrators, MUFP wishes the young media colleague who is still in hospital an early recovery.

MUFP sees the the Mumbai gangrape not only as a barbarous and beastly attack on a woman’s dignity but also an intimidatory act that would aggravate the sense of insecurity among all working women who step out of their homes to earn a living.MUFP also demands for and the demand for the harshest possible pinishmnt to its perpetrators, MUFP wishes the young media colleague who is still in hospital an early recovery.

Today more and more young women are joining the profession of journalism which had remained a male domain for years. They are willing to accept tough assignments and go the extra mile to achieve excellence.

While conceding that the Mumbai gangrape incident may work as an disincentive to many of our young women colleagues, MUFP hopes they would stand up against such despicable acts both as individuals and journalists.

MUFP also appeals to the people at large to do their bit to help our daughters, sisters and mothers live and work in a safer environment and not hesitate to risk their own safety to ensure no harm is caused to them by abominable beasts that lurk around us.

MUFP strongly supports the silent protest rally being organised in Bhubaneswar by women journalists and photojournalists at 4.30 pm on Sunday and requests all members of the media fraternity to join it without fail.

Scribes stress on action against rowdy medicos and IIC of Mangalabag P.S.

Cuttack based scribes belonging to both the print and electronic media, in a signed memorandum to Orissa’s Director General of Police today stressed on action against medicos who kidnapped two reporters of Naxatra News from the medicine indoor of SCB Medical College on June 15 and tortured them in wrongful confinement for more than two hours. They also demanded stern action against the inspector-in-charge of Police of Mangalabag PS for discernible siding with the rowdy medicos.

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Members of the presidium of Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) Prasanta Patnaik and Subhas Chandra Pattanayak and coordinator of Save the Samaja Forum Pabitra Maharatha accompanied the aggrieved scribes in a major rally to Police headquarters. In absence of the DGP, the memorandum was received by Additional DGP Mr. Sanjib Marik.

tortured journalist briefs the ADGP

The tortured scribes, Chittaranjan Samantray and Debasis Mohanty gave a detail description of how they were shanghaied into wrongful confinement in a hostel of the medical college by a gang of around a hundred medical students and interns and physically tortured. They were forced to kneel down for hours and then forced to proceed to the same medicine indoor for begging apology before the indoor patients before whom on June 14 they had raised objections to what the house surgeons had said about the father of Samantray.

Samantray’s father was admitted into the medicine ward for treatment. The house surgeons pronounced that the senior Samantray had developed damage in both his kidneys and insisted that he should be shifted to a private hospital. Samantray was shocked, because no pathological investigation had indicated about any damage to the kidneys and he protested. This irked the house surgeons and they started rebuking him in filthy language. An embarrassed and shocked Samantray tried to capture the highly atrocious conduct of the medicos; but obstructed, he went to the unit head and professor of medicine, Dr. Siddharth Das and placed before him his grievances. Dr. Das rushed to the spot and investigated into the matter and as all co-patients of the indoor ward corroborated the allegations raised by Samantray, asked the errant medicos not to work in the same ward. This further irritated the medicos.

When next day, June 15, he had come to attend his father, his co-reporter Debasis had also come with him to meet the professor in his indoor chamber in matter of his ailing mother. Seeing them in the indoor corridor, the miscreant medicos jumped on them and whisked them away into the hostel, where they were kept in wrongful confinement and tortured.

The gory part of the incident is that the IIC of Mangalabag Mr. Shariffudin having come to the spot on SOS message from the affected scribe remained a silent spectator of the torture and willfully neglected to register the FIR filed by them and was later seen entertaining the miscreant medicos in his chamber and registering a parallel FIR filed by them in order to create a confusion in course of criminal justice dispensation.

memorandum

About 50 scribes, while collectively presenting their Memorandum, informed the ADGP that the same IIC is terrorizing them and urged upon him to investigate into his conduct and discipline him. Besides the two victims of medico-police atrocity, the memorialists included, amongst others, Pradip Sahu,Navdeep Das,Cittaranjan Mishra, Satchidanand Behera, Gopal Mohapatra, Matrudatta Mohanty,Prasanta Mohanty, Jyotiprakash Rao, Bikash Sharma, Abhi Mohanty, Amardev Nayak, Rajkishore Panda, Pratap Chandra Sahoo, Devi Prasanna Khuntia, Rajkishore Mohanty, Ch. Jagannath Patra, Satyajit Mishra, Saroj Kumar Mallik,Ajaya Kumar Das, Pabitra Maharatha, Prasanta Patnaik and Subhas Chandra Pattanayak.

The ADGP has assured to take suitable action in the matter and expeditiously.

Medicos keep media persons in wrongful confinement at Cuttack: Action called for

When his father was an indoor patient in SCB Medical College Hospital, reporter Chittaranjan of Naxatra News, while attending him, came across such irregularities in the hospital management and health care that as a media person it was to him imprudent to ignore. He was in a predicament. He knew that it would be irritating to the College authorities as well as to the hospital’s medical staff if the irregularities were exposed and may lead to debacle of his ailing father. Yet he also knew that if he sloughs over the irregularities, his professional conscience would never excuse him. He battled against himself and finally decided to honor his professional conscience. He captured some evidences of irregularities in camera on 14 06 1013. This irked the medicos.

Today, at around 5.30 PM of June 15, when Chitta and a co-reporter had been to the medical college and hospital to attend to his bedridden ailing father, a irritated gang of medicos numbering about 30, attacked them suddenly and forcefully took them into confinement.

The wrongful confinement lasted for about two hours.

The reporters were threatened with dire consequences if the tapes on which visuals were shot yesterday were not handed over to them immediately. But the tape was not with the reporters as by that time they had already submitted the same in the bureau office. Their tormentors asked them to kneel down holding the ears by both the hands till they were released at about 7.30 in the evening.

On behalf of ‘Naxatra News’ channel, its editor-in-chief Basudev Mohapatra has condemned the hooliganism resorted to by the medicos and has appealed to media fraternity to unite against such attack so as to protect free press in the State.

Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) Presidium member Prasanta Patnaik is in consultation with other members over the issue.