MUFP DEMANDS UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF AMITABH PATRA AND ARREST OF COPS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BRUTAL ATTACK AGAINST THE JOURNALIST

under the freedom tree

The Media Unity for Freedom of Press ( MUFP) today staged a protest demonstration under the Freedom Tree near Jaidev Bhawan against the brutal police attack on a television journalist Amitabh Patra while he was covering the local agitation at Dunguripali in Lower Suktel project area in Bolangir on the 29th of May.

Sri Patra who is now receiving treatment at the Burla medical college hospital is still in police custody because he has been arrested on false charges that he was inciting the protesters ! The visuals captured by local media persons shows clearly how he was targeted by a group of policemen who beat him black and blue with lathis and kept kicking him even when he had fallen on the ground.

The MUFP has demanded immediate and unconditional release of Amitabh Patra as well as the identification and arrest of the police officials who were involved in the attack that left him with serious head injury. The media body has also demanded payment of compensation for or replacement of Sri Patra’s damaged video camera.

MUFP has strong reasons to believe that Sri Patra was targeted because he was recording the barbaric manner in which the police were beating up the peaceful protesters including young women with his camera. His camera was smashed before he was roughed up by a group of men in khaki who were reportedly drunk.

MUFP has threatened to resort to state-wide agitation if Amitabh Patra is not released unconditionally and no action taken against the policemen responsible for the brutal attack on him.

Over 30 scribes and photographers led by senior journalists Prasanta Patnaik and Rabi Das participated in today’s protest.

MUFP stands with TV scribe

The MUFP condemns the brutal attack by armed police on TV reporter Amitabh Patra on April 29 early morning who was doing his duty of covering an agitation against Lower Suktel Dam in Dunguripali of Balangiri district.

AMITABH PATRA_INJUREDHis TV camera has been smashed and he has sustained grievous injury on his head. No head scan has been done so far. Without any reason he has been arrested.

The MUFP demands the following:

1. Immediate and unconditional release of Amitabh Patra

2. Offering him proper medical treatment in a proper place with cost to the state

3. Restoration of his camera and returning the same to him in its original condition.

4. Arrest of police officials who have launched the brutal attack on him

5. Compensation for the injury and for loss of property

6. Release of other media persons including Lenin Ray of Nissan

6. Provide proper protection to media persons on duty in sensitive areas and on sensitive matters.

For MEDIA UNITY FOR FREEDOM OF PRESS (MUFP ), Presidium.
Prasanta Patnaik, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Gopal Mohapatra, Rabi Das,
Prafulla Das, Ashok Mohapatra, Dwinjen Padhi, Gourahati Das, Sampad Mohapatra, Dwijen Padhi, Sudhir Patnaik

BOLANGIR ADDS FUEL TO TURMOIL IN ASSEMBLY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
To the turmoil going on in the Orissa Legislative Assembly over the Chief Minister’s black money, Police brutality in Bolangir has added fuel.

A Police van driven by a drunkard had hit a man from behind in the town of Bolangir yesterday. That had infuriated the local public leading to mass assault on the driver ans putting the vehicle to fire.

The Police resorted to brutality in retaliation. Passive onlookers were beaten up and tear gas was lavishly fired at private houses.

The Police was so mad in wrath that media persons were thrashed and TV cameras were snatched away and damaged.

The entire town has gone into a band hartal today in protest against Police brutality having its logical repercussion on the participation of members in the House. The Opposition has sharpened its stance and has stopped the House to take up scheduled business without a discussion on Police brutality at Bolangir.