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Monday, June 09, 2014  
MUFP plans to seek people’s support for safety of Media Persons
"Cases of attack on reporters and media persons working to bring issues and problems of people to public are in rise in the state of Orissa. Arresting journalists by framing false charges and attack on journalists are now a matter of concern for the total media fraternity in the State of Orissa. The greatest concern is that no action has yet been initiated by the government, its administration and police to punish the culprit and ensure safety of Journalists and other Media Persons and allow them do their job properly. Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) raises its voice to stop attack on media in Orissa."
HNF Correspondent

In an extended meeting held on July 3, Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) expressed its plan to go to common people and seek its support for the safety of journalists. In a resolution, MUFP decided to start a public awareness drive by publishing White Paper as a detail document of attacks on the media Professionals on Job and apathy of the Government by remaining silent over the issues of the journalists and media professionals that indirectly encourages the evils of the society fall hard on journalist working to bring the truth before public.

It’s to be noted that journalists of the state under the banner of MUFP have approached the commissioner of Police in Bhubaneswar and the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on different occasions and requested both of them to take strong action against people who have attacked media persons in different places of Orissa including the capital city of Bhubaneswar. Orissa CM was approached after the fatal attack by a few academics and non-academic staff of a city based technical college Silicon Institute of Technology on media persons occurred while covering death of a student in the Hostel, allegedly due to food poisoning.

While the resolution was read for approval of journalists present in the meeting, senior journalist and writer Prasant Patnaik said, ‘this White Paper will go public to tell how journalists and other media persons are being targeted by evils, vested interest groups, corporate and political goons and anti-people, anti-social elements of the society while working to wipe the mask on their face and bring the issues of people to public. It would help generating public opinion in favour of journalists and the media professionals who are highlighting the problems of people and working to ensure the common man with its fundamental rights and justice. Once the common public is adequately aware, the Government will be left with no other option but to take action against the culprits who attacked media persons and work to provide adequate protection to the media persons’.

In addition to this, MUFP resolved to organise an exhibition of photographs relating to attack on the media persons, their protest etc. and invite the public representatives, intellectuals, students, different civil society groups and organisations to visit the exhibitions, see the documents and feel the plight of media persons under the present regime. Subsequently such exhibitions would be organised in different districts and sub-divisional head quarters, national capital, Metro and big cities.

Expressing its concern over the callousness of Orissa state administration in ensuring safety of the journalists and punishing the guilty even after Chief Minister’s repeated assurances, MUFP passed a resolution that, ‘Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) is deeply disturbed over total failure of State Administration to implement the Chief Minister’s repeated assurances for action against framing up media persons in false cases by the black-sheep in Police as well as physical attacks on them by the criminals and exploiters in Orissa. It unanimously holds that the Chief Minister’s inability to enforce his assurances has been contributing to rise in attacks on Press’.

Terming it as blatant failure of state administration in implementing the orders of the Chief Minister to investigate into cases of attack on journalists and take action against the culprit, MUFP declared in the meeting to bring out a white paper on attack on Press and hold exhibition of pictures of the attacks and the victims at public places in different parts of the State as democracy and journalistic ethics entail. ‘Believing that the common public is the virtual master of democracy, MUFP planned to initiate such drives to wake up the public to the alarming situation’ said another senior Journalist and an initiator of MUFP Subhas Chandra Patnaik.

In the meeting MUFP raised its demand for immediate arrest of culprits involved in the attack on Kanak TV journalist Akhand and quick recovery of Mr Balaram Mohanty's camera which was snatched away during the brutal attack on media persons inside the Silicon Institute of Technology. MUFP once again urged the Commissioner of Police (Bhubaneswar-Cuttack) to honour his promises to the MUFP delegation in this regard.

Expressing deep shock over the recent organized brutal attack on Sri Suryamani Mishra of daily oriya newspaper Khabara by a group of miscreants, MUFP demanded immediate initiation of penal action against the culprits and stringent actions against attackers on journalists in Jajpur, Kendrapara, Nayagarh and other places in the State.

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