Report by Priyabrata Nayak, Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government on Monday suspended five constables of India Reserve Battalion suspended in connection with lathicharge on journalists near Naveen Nivas.
It should be noted that massive protest shown by media persons followed by a journalist thrashed by cops near Naveen Niwas on Monday. Expressing anger over this incident, journalists and photographers staged a dharna before Navin Niwas by blocking the road for nearly five hours.
The protest comes to an end with the assurance of stringent action against the guilty cops by Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik. Chief Minister has askeded the DGP to put the accused cop under suspension and submit an inquiry report on this incident.
After returning from a day long tour of Ganjam, Chief Minister termed it as an unfortunate incident and said nobody will be spared who found guilty.
According to reports, Subhakanta Padhiary, correspondent of a Odiya daily went to Naveen Niwas for the coverage of a demonstration was beaten up by some Jawans of Special Security Battalion (SSB). A case has been registered with the Airfield police station in this regard.
“I and another journalist were heading towards Naveen Niwas to cover the news. All of a sudden about seven SSB jawan came to our bike and started beating me with lathi. They continued to thrashing us even after we show them our ID card” said Subhakant.
As the news spread, media persons flooded to Naveen Niwas and staged a dharna demanding immediate action against the culprits. Ratikanta Mohanty, a senior journalist said, though section 144 imposed in this area but people are allowed to commute through this road. But the cops should not apply fore on them especially media persons who came to cover the incident. Police should learn the morality while discharging their duty.
Amid regular misbehave and attacks on media, scribes have demanded adequate security during news coverage. A delegate from media went to meet Chief Minister over this incident. DGP Prakash Mishra said, media persons are allowed to meet me whenever they are subjected to assault and I will look into the matter.
He also said, this kind of incident will not be repeated further. During the protest, Sanjay Dasburma, Chief Whip of the Government, Prasad Harichandan, Chief Whip of Congress in Assembly and Jaynarayana Mishra, Leader of Opposition of BJP went to meet the agitating scribes.