NATIONAL

Gogoi welcomes stay

GUWAHATI Nov. 10. The Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, and the Pradesh Congress Committee president, Paban Singh Ghatowar, today welcomed the Supreme Court directive staying the order of arrest of the Publisher, Editor, the Executive Editor and two journalists of The Hindu, ordered by the Tamil Nadu Assembly for alleged breach of privilege.

Mr. Gogoi said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, was ``using'' the Privileges Committee of the House as a front.

The attack on The Hindu was an attack on the freedom of the press and, in the final analysis, on democracy itself.

He was happy that the unwarranted action of the Tamil Nadu Assembly had evoked countrywide protests and even the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister had made no secret of their anguish and disapproval.

The city scribes, at a meeting held at the Guwahati Press Club today, condemned the ``wholly arbitrary and unwarranted'' action of the Tamil Nadu Assembly and its Speaker and expressed their solidarity with the struggle to preserve the freedom and rights of the Press.

In a resolution, the meeting condemned the misuse of privileges and demanded codification of the privileges of Parliament and State legislatures.

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