The Issue raised by Kejriwal is of Utmost Importance

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The TV Journalists who had taken about Rs. 500 crores to brainwash Indians in support of BJP in 2004 elections are back in their shrewd trade. They are spewing venom against Kejriwal, projecting his campaign against misconduct of the Delhi Police, as “drama” being enacted in Delhi to “divert public attention from his inability to rule”. And, as seen in TIMES NOW channel, appreciators of Kejriwal action are being muzzled in discernible attempt to divert public attention from the basic issue raised by the AAP leader.

The issue is of utmost public importance. Law and order problem in Delhi is menacing. It is shameful yet well-known that the capital city of India has earned a nasty name as capital city of offenses against women. This is going on; because the Delhi Police is not answerable to Government.

The Delhi Government has no control over the Delhi Police, when the said Government is responsible for maintenance of law and order.

The main purpose of any Government is to give the people a living environment where miscreants shall not be ruling the roost. And, this environment cannot be created if the police is not controlled by the Government.

The purpose of the people of Delhi in changing a Government for a better one would be lost, if the police do not carry orders from and remain answerable to the new political Government of Delhi.

Creation of an Assembly for Delhi, with provision for that Assembly to ensure running of a responsible political Government is meaningless, if the said government is debarred from giving good governance because of being devoid of powers over the police.

Kejriwal’s ongoing Dharana demonstration is meant against this administrative anarchy. So, it is wrong to allege that he is an anarchist.

The issue he has raised is specific.

Whether the police shall be answerable to the political Government or not, is the issue.

The situation has become, and is bound to become putrefying, because the police under control of the Union Government under grip of the Congress Party is disobeying the AAP Government’s orders for giving the people an environment where miscreants shall not be ruling the roost.

Kejriwal wants change of this spoiling system.

So, the issue raised by him is of utmost importance and the step he has taken is the best step possible in the present context.

True seekers of power to people must support him.

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SoPS miscreants ignited communal tension, but Police has arrested a Sub-Editor to divert public attention

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Niranjan Rath, a devotee of Hanuman and a controversial life member of Servants of the People Society (SoPS), projected as a person of moral turpitude in an enquiry report authored by Justice Arijit Pasayat, is the printer and publisher of the ‘Samaja’ newspaper, whereas Satya Roy, a retired desk journalist, as a reward for lobbying in corridors of courts for some of the SoPS miscreants, is its editor-in-charge on a time-bound contract.

They committed a crime by design or negligence that irritated the muslim community in whole of the State leading to angry protests in front of the Samaja office at Cuttack and ransacking of its premises elsewhere.

But, to save their skin, they have shrewdly shifted the responsibility to a sub-editor and the Police, pressed by CMO to protect these two fellows, has arrested Jitendra Das, the sub-editor, whom the primary court has thrown into custody oblivious of his right to personal freedom, even though, under laws governing the Press, he cannot be held guilty.

Muslim protest before samaja officeA very wrongful picture of Prophet Mahammad was published in the Samaja of January 14, against which a section of Muslim inhabitants of Cuttack wanted to place their protests before the editor. Denied the audience, they organized public protests that became acrimonious and mobile phones being sharp carriers, the information of Cuttack spread through out the State. Irritated Muslims ransacked the paper’s Balasore set-up and Rourkela edition office also soon tested the bitterness. Beyond the seats of Samaja editions, members of the aggrieved community also demonstrated their angry protests in important nerve centers of the State.

As situation was getting more menacing, the DGP had to rush to the newspaper’s head office at Cuttack to pacify the muslims and protect the Samaja functionaries. And, he somewhat succeeded. But, then, surprisingly, sub-editor Jitendra Das was handed over to Police by the illegitimately clinging GM of the paper Suresh Mantry,who never forgets to project himself as a retired IAS officer and who is noted to have acted the mastermind behind torture of employees by the management.

ORISSA MATTERS wanted to know from the Police as to why a sub-editor has been arrested when for the mischief the editor-in-charge and the printer-publisher are individually and collectively answerable. Police just fumbled. Who raised the allegation against the sub-editor? Police kept mum.

Sri Das has been illegally suspended.

Earlier we have shown how a sub-editor, pressed to report the Assembly, has been suspended for his faithful reporting of a debate, as therein a member who had mocked at the Chief Minister’s secretary Pandian was quoted.

In such nefarious hands the Samaja has fallen.

The Labor department is not daring to intervene as the illegal occupiers of Samaja (Samaja is occupied by SoPS through a forged Will) are under protection of the Chief Minister, who has whimsically transferred a labor officer of Cuttack for having initiated action against unfair labor practices rampant in the Samaja establishment.

Now, to save the real culprits, the Police has been used to arrest sub-editor Jitendra Das in order to save their own skin and divert public attention.

State seems spineless before the Police as exploited Home Guards perish in prison

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Despite bail granted by the District Judge, leaders of the Home Guards of Orissa are perishing in prison, because the police know that the State government is too spineless to intervene in any matter they design to do.

The conduct of the State Government encourages the police.

The minimum one expects of a State Government is that, it should be an ideal employer. But Mr. Naveen Patnaik is heading a government that acts rabid exploiter.

It has employees in almost all departments who work regularly on jobs of regular nature; but despite that, even after having worked for years together, they are not regularized. They are kept away from legitimate time scale salaries and no service benefit is available to them. Their exploitation was earlier going on under various nomenclatures like work-charged employees, NMR, DLR etc and now is going on under the design of contracts. They are bereft of minimum wages and service conditions. When they demand for regularization in jobs, they are tortured through the police. Mahatma Gandhi Marg of Bhubaneswar is witness to umpteen such acts of oppression.

Now a part of police organization – the Home Guards – has fallen a prey to this devilish practice. In Orissa,15192 persons are working against 18441 sanctioned posts of Home Guards, which means they are overworking to manage the duties of 3249 Home Guards that are not even recruited. They assist the police in maintaining law and order, beat patrolling at night and in urban locations, in regulating traffic, patrolling in PCR vans, even in driving police vehicles, and carrying out duties at various important nerve centers of administration in odd hours as and when their area Police Officer requires. Any reluctance to obey orders of the P.S. precipitates retrenchment.

But they are not properly paid. They are not protected by any fair and legal service condition. They are not given the status of government servants. They are not assured with any service stability and any retirement benefit, even though they have been working in sanctioned posts.

As they protested against this exploitation and raised a demand for enhancement of the abysmally low wages they get, they were brutally beaten up by the police at the PMG point of the M.G.Marg on March 22, 2013 to suppress their voice against exploitation and massive arrests were made under various charges. The district judiciary granted them bail.

But, now it transpires from a statement issued by the President and the Secretary of the Bhubaneswar District Unit of their association that despite the bail, their State President and seven other members of the State leadership including three lady Home Guards have been refused freedom by the Police that project them as habitual offenders. This is sheer misuse of sec.110 with intent to harass and demoralize them further, they allege.

Sad, the State Government is unable to feel how adversely it may affect the environment of law and order maintenance.

Sambalpur Lawyers are Not Anti-Socials; Transfer the Collector First

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In a memorandum to Orissa Chief Minister, the IAS Officers Association (Orissa chapter) has demanded stern action against “anti-socials”, who, according to it, abused the Sambalpur Collector Ms. Mrinalini Darswal because of her official action, when the Collector herself has informed the Police that the alleged abusers are “lawyers”.

Are the lawyers just anti-socials to the combined body of IAS officers?

Let us come to the fact.

The people of Sambalpur are severely disadvantaged by unreasonable hike in land registration fees and as links between the local people and land registration office, the lawyers of Sambalpur had tried to prevail upon the district Collector to ensure relief for the affected public.

Had the Collector been tactful, as sequences suggest, her alleged embarrassment might never have occured.

That the entire city of Sambalpur observed Wednesday a Bandh from morning to evening in protest against misbehavior of the Collector against the lawyers wherein the government employees also participated in expression of solidarity with the lawyers indicates that the Collector was not tactful in dealing with the legal community, that was there to make her apprised of the difficulties their clients and would be clients were exposed to by the unilateral hike in registration fee. Arguments turned heated being precipitated by the Collector’s braggadocio, say eye witnesses.

The registration fee hike was detrimental to economy of the local people. The district Bar Association tried to apprise the district Collector of this. Why didn’t the Collector give them a patient hearing? Why she refused to see how the hike had affected the people? What problem was there for her to assure the lawyers to study the issue; if need be, to have a public hearing to know if the hike is really resented to by the people; if need be, to consult the Government in the matter before coming into a conclusion and to assure the lawyers that she had the ears to hear them when the issue they had raised was in reality linked to their profession?

It seems, the IAS Officers Association has not ascertained the real cause of the precipitation as otherwise, it could have restrained itself from misleading the Chief Minister in this matter in its memorandum.

It is a serious offense against the lawyers community by the combined body of IAS Officers and is designed to subjugate people’s conscious voice to their overlordship which they are enjoying under a Chief Minister entirely dependent on officers.

The Chief Minister should introspect before taking cognizance of the memorandum. If he has any respect for political governance, instead of acting on the IAS Association memorandum, he should study as to why, when the lady collector in her FIR has raised allegations against the “lawyers” to the extent of naming 16 of them, the said association has stressed on only one word i.e. “anti-socials” in its memorandum.

Orissa must reject the mischief of IAS officers that collectively hold “lawyers” as “anti-socials”.

The Chief Minister will be well advised to reject the memorandum with the contempt it deserves for having projected the “lawyers” as “anti-socials” and even before trying to ascertain what really has happened, he should transfer the lady Collector from Sambalpur, so that an approximate correct picture can come to him.

He will have to facilitate an unpressurised investigation on the FIR the lady Collector has lodged in the Sambalpur P.S. And, for this, it is better for him to appreciate that, in a District, the Collector bosses over the Police and when in this case, the Collector herself is the complainant, the Police cannot act freely if she is allowed to boss over it.

So, the Collector’s transfer from Sambalpur immediately is the minimum requirement of the moment.

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.

MUFP CONDEMNS HIGH-HANDEDNESS OF BHUBANESWAR POLICE

The Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) strongly condemns the highhandedness of Bhubaneswar police in dealing with media persons while on professional duty. The latest example of such objectionable practice by the Commissionerate police was denying the city reporters of Odia daily Aaromv access to the venue of the 15th National Youth Conference.

The Odia daily Aaromv has come up with shocking reports about how the police prevented the entry of its reporter and photo-journalist at the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday. The report quotes the IIC, Saheed Nagar police station as saying that he had received instructions from top police bosses not to allow entry to Aaromv reporters and photo journalists! There is another report on how a young lady journalist from the same newspaper had to face humiliations at the hands of a senior police officer.

This is simply unacceptable. We demand a probe by the Chief Secretary, Odisha into the allegations because this is a very serious matter that threatens press freedom. We expect the inquiry report to be submitted within 15 days.

We have never claimed we are special citizens but surely we enjoy certain special rights while pursuing our professional assignments. It’s rather strange that neither the I&PR department nor the Bhubaneswar Police Commissionerate ever bothered to issue proper passes with photo identity to media persons. Nor did they earmark specific areas for coverage by the video journalists and photo journalists. That is one of the major causes behind the chaotic situation that prevailed on the inaugural ceremony of the NYF-15 and this lapse on the part of the organisers and the police need to be part of the Chief Secretary’s inquiry.

The police are free to impose reasonable restrictions on access and entry to ensure discipline and smooth flow of schedule in any public function. They also have the right to take to task any media person who violates law. But to single out one newspaper and its reporters for persecution is most condemnable. That the police felt aggrieved by negative reports in Aaromv is understandable but that does not give them the right or the authority to deny the Aaromv team access.

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak,
Prasanta Patnaik,
Rabi Das,
D.N. Singh,
Sudhir Patnaik,
Sampad Mohapatra,
Prafulla Das,
Gopal Mohapatra.

Bhubaneswar
January 10, 2010.

STOP PROSECUTING LENIN ROY: IMPOSE CEILING ON PROPERTY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Bhubaneswar Police has arrested the editor of progressive journal, Nishan, Mr. Lenin Kumar Roy along with two of his colleagues, Dhanjaya Lenka and Rabi Jena, under suspicion that they were the authors of alleged Naxal tracts that the rightwing media had claimed to have stumbled upon in the capital city last week. They are remanded to judicial custody.

It seems, squeals of right-wing media over suspected Naxal presence in Bhubaneswar has made the police pounce on the editor of the progressive journal. Poets and authors of the State have put on records their protests against the police highhandedness.

What is Lenin’s offense that the police is harping on? Firstly, his comment carried by Nishan on the flare up that communalism had ignited in Kandhamal and secondly, presence of CDs that allegedly carry data of human tragedies, stored also in the hard disk of his computer, which, according to police interpretations, are pro-Naxal.

When the matter is subjudice, one hopes, the judiciary will unveil the truth.

But as the instant reaction of thinkers and writers of Orissa suggests, one finds that progressive intelligentsia is not taking police version as free of prejudice. As such, the right thinking Oriya intellectuals, poets and authors and fighters for freedom in expression – all apolitical patriots – have started defending Lenin and his team very openly and unambiguously.

But without any prejudice, one may say that it is quite difficult to understand as to how possession of certain data of human tragedies constitutes an offense. This is a part of intellectual pursuit that an editor of a progressive journal is supposed to have as it helps him interpret contemporary issues so germane to his profession.

On the other hand, fundamental duties that the Constitution of India has assigned to every Indian include individual and collective endeavor to interpret scriptures and religious occurrences in such manners that a socio-scientific tenor should be evolved out of such interpretations to pave the path for a future society free of religious infestations.

Progressive authors, specifically the journalists, have to bear the burden of this responsibility.

In doing this, they may make comments on religious practices that may look like disparaging to dogmatism. And, any religious fanatic may raise a cry that thereby his or her religious belief has been outraged. Notwithstanding presence of Sections 153A and 295A of IPC, police should desist from invoking these draconian provisions against such progressive journalists and authors as the same may kill the spirit of fundamental duties enshrined in the Constitution and defeat the fundamental rights that the citizens are given in the matter of free expression. Police in Nishan case has preferred not to think about this.

Beyond this, if intellectuals of the State refuse to stand with police action against Lenin and his team, it is because the police personnel in various occasions have been marked for having falsely implicated innocent people in criminal cases.

This time, it seems as if the police is executing a conspiracy of rightwing media against the intellectually accepted progressive journal, Nishan.

A rightwing TV channel that feeds its viewers mostly with superstitions and other recipes of theism in apparent support to religious revivalism was the first to raise a tempest over pasting of typed sheets of papers allegedly containing the Naxal warnings at dingy joints in the city when election propaganda for Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation was at its peak and went on noising that the police is too smug to nail Naxal menace even though the Capital of the State is threatened by its presence. And, rightwing print media went on repeating the same.

Assembly session added the fuel. Police pounced on the team of the only journal that is considered by even the apolitical intelligentsia as progressive.

Cases may be cooked up. Courts may be hoodwinked. Patriots may be punished. But can conscience be extinguished? No.

As long as exploitation continues, protest against exploitation shall go on. Responding to call of conscience peoples will sure rise to protest against exploitation. So prosecuting a progressive editor would not stop spread of protests.

But if protests become violent, our motherland shall bleed. And, no creative person, poet, author, artist, journalist, none of the lovers of human society, can support any action that may make the motherland bleed.

Therefore, the Naxals are not yet getting popular support. Nonetheless, they are spreading.

We must cogitate.

Everybody knows that economic inequality is the basic reason behind spreading of Naxalism. It has grown out of failure of Communists to steer the nation into political economy of socialism. So it is an economic phenomenon; not a matter only of law and order as the rightist say.

Police cannot curb it. Military cannot.

Only a politico-economic formula can curb Naxalism.

This formula must urgently be evolved to remove the inequality.

If we are serious, we must seriously think of our beloved Bapuji. We have forgotten him. He had wanted the country to run in a manner where upliftment of the poorest of the poor must form the core of planning. But our planning is addressed to devise ways to gift stimulus packages to the rich to help consolidation of imperialism.

If the country belongs to every Indian, the deprived Indians must revolt against deprivation. Who can stop?

In his reply to debates on the third reading of the Constitution in the Constituent Assembly of India, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had given vent to his fears that the hard-earned freedom of India may not last for long if the Parliament to be constituted under the Constitution fails to remove the economic inequality, which, overwhelmed by the propertied class representing the Indian National Congress in majority in the Assembly, the makers of the Constitution had failed to undo. Showing the shortcomings of the Constitution he had said,

“On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradiction. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic rights we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man and one vote, one value. In our social and economic rights we shall by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny one man one value…We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.”(Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.979)

.

Instead of curbing inequality, the Governments, hand-in-glove with the rich, have spread inequality. Unless they stop it, peoples shall stop it by force. In words of what Ambedkar has warned, “they will blow up the structure of political democracy”. Police can’t stop that.

So, stop prosecuting the Nishan team if at all they are opponents of inequality and try to remove social and economic inequality as soon as possible in right earnest if you love the motherland. By prosecuting Lenin Roy, Dhanjaya Lenka and Rabi Jena, police can’t stop victims of inequality from “blowing up the structure of political democracy”.

But let us stop it collectively without creating any cause of confrontation.

To do this, let us go back to beloved Gandhiji, whom the Congress, represented by the propertied class, had ignored in making of the Constitution.

He had the foresight to know what would happen to India if economic inequality widens the gap between the poor and the rich. He had devised a unique method called “Theory of Trusteeship”. The rich must stop exploiting the poor and treat himself as the trustee of the property of the poor. This is perhaps the only way of stopping class war in the most non-violent way. This is time; we must address our entire political consciousness to bring Bapuji’s Theory of Trusteeship to practice in India, if we are really serious about stopping blood bath on politico-economic ground. If the rich does not voluntarily accept the theory, it must be made to accept.

To do this, two steps are essential. Firstly, the government must retrieve democracy from the labyrinth of plutocracy. It must stop economic gifts in any guise to the rich to make them richer. And, secondly, it must put a ceiling on accumulation of property. When Indian farmers are distress selling their paddies, women are distress selling their bodies, mothers are distress selling their babies, workers are distress selling their abilities, why should a single Indian Ambani, son of a man of obscure beginning, be allowed to have a home that would, when finished, be the costliest building under the sky to live in? Why should India be two Indias like this? To stop this, we must stop concentration of unlimited wealth in individual hands. And for this, ceiling on property must be an unavoidable must.

The state must be told to stop prosecuting Lenin, as the remedy to Naxalism does not lie therein, but lies in removal of social and economic inequalities.