OTHER STATES

Attack on journalist condemned

Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: Expressing concern over continuous attack on media persons over the past few months, journalists have criticised the State government for not taking steps to stop them.

According to Samaj, the leading Oriya daily of Orissa, Jagannath Bastia, its reporter based at Puri, was brutally attacked on November 5. Mr. Basita sustained grievous injuries on his hand and leg. He was recuperating at district headquarters hospital of Puri.

In his complaint to the district police, Mr. Basita alleged that former Orissa Legislative Assembly Speaker Maheswar Mohanty and current vice-chairman of Puri Municipality Sabyasachi Mohapatra were behind the attack.

The vernacular daily accused that although names of these two influential persons were very much in complaint, the names were omitted in FIR by the Kumbharpara Police Station. Mr. Bastia had to face the wrath of influential persons after he unearthed multi-crore land scam, the daily said.

Meanwhile, the attack invited sharp criticism from journalists. “Laxman Chaudhury, a journalist in Gajapati district, has been languishing in jail for a conspiracy hatched by some unscrupulous policemen who have branded him as an associate of naxals, now another journalist, Mr. Bastia, was targeted by land grabber and corrupt politicians,” said senior journalist Prasanta Patnaik. He said criminals involved in brutal attack should immediately be arrested and the State government should come forward to bear expenses towards medical treatment.

Similarly, Rabi Das, a journalist, too came down heavily on the State government. “In his complaint the injured journalist clearly accused the local legislator and his accomplice of perpetrating the crime. In the first place, the accused persons should have been arrested.”

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