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Scribes stage dharna at Esplanade, protest assault on colleagues

29/12/2019 at 11:46 AM

Bhubaneswar: Hundreds of journalists have now staged a dharna in front of the Esplanade One shopping mall at Rasuglgarh here, demanding arrest of mall employees who assaulted a woman scribe and a cameraman during a live reporting on illegal parking fee collection yesterday.

Journalists belonging to various Print and electronic media have sat on the dharna.

“While more than 12 hours have passed since employees of Esplanade attacked the Argus web channel crew, police have not taken any action. We demand that the culprits arrested soon. The Government should protect working journalists,” said senior journalist Akshay Sahoo.

Odisha Journalists’ Association (OJU) president Prasanna Mohanty demanded that the Government should bring Journalists Protection Bill soon to provide protection to all working journalists in the State.

“Journalists are being attacked by police and miscreants often. Even as we have been demanding legislation of laws for protection of working scribes, the Government has not paid any heed to it. The Government should bring a Journalists Protection Bill soon,” demanded Mohanty.

OTV bureau Chief Radha Madhab Panda criticized severely the police and the administration for inaction on Esplanade employees who attacked a woman scribe and a camera man yesterday.

Notably, the crew from the Argus News Web Channel comprising reporter Swati Jena and cameraman Pramod Mohapatra visited the Esplanade Mall to report illegal collection of parking fees in violation of Government guidelines.

Seeing the scribes with camera, a group of mall employees came out and attacked the two and damaged camera and other equipments worth lakhs of rupees.

On complaint of Jena and Mohapatra didn’t agree, the Saheed Nagar police had registered a case. Commissioner of Polcie Sudhansu Sarangi had assured action against those assaulted the media team as per law. However, no arrest had been made by 11 am on Sunday.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has earlier this month directed different establishments such as commercial buildings, shopping malls, multiplexes, hospitals, apartments and housing projects not to collect fees for off-street parking on their premises. The orders came into force with immediate effect.

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