Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubanewar, Aug 27:
Well known body of Odisha media persons, Media Unity for Freedom of Press ( MUFP ) has condemned the brutal assault on journalists “while they were performing their professional duty as reporters near the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) on August 24.
Stating that there is enough evidence to suggest that both the students of KISS and outside elements were involved in the murderous attack on two fellow journalists, the MUFP in its release said, “The incident is yet another example of how the powers that be have been treating and targeting the media over the years. The violent attack constitutes a grave threat to the freedom of the press to report events, issues and acts of illegalities in the larger public interest.”
“The affected persons or institutions always have the option of legal and judicial redressal but to take recourse to violent means to muzzle the press smacks of a sick mindset, that has little respect for the right of the media to probe and unearth the truth as they see it,” the release issued by senior journalist Prasanta Patnaik on behalf of the MUFP said.
The MUFP has asked the police to identify and book the assailants for the criminal act based on the available video evidence in the next 24 hours and demanded an impartial and independent probe by a group of eminent citizens into the entire episode. The inquiry/ fact-finding should be completed within a week and the report should be shared with the public in the next three days, the release said.
MUFP has also expressed it deep concerns over “the threats that journalists face not only from outside forces but also from their own organisation and employers, who have scant regard for their safety and security and said it expected the media organisations to behave more responsibly and provide adequate security cover for for the reporters and crew whenever there is a threat factor involved in the coverage of any given issue or event.