Agartala: Three days after Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb denied that he threatened the media while making a statement during the inauguration of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the Tripura Assembly of Journalists on Friday decided to seek intervention of Governor Ramesh Bais over the matter. The journalists’ body wants the withdrawal of the statement made by Deb against the media and ensure the safety and freedom of the press.
A press statement issued by the journalists’ body informed that they will knock the doors of the Tripura Governor seeking his intervention and if required they would also write a letter tothe Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and other press freedom bodies.
A meeting of the journalists which was held on Friday decided after the end of the three days ultimatum given to the chief minister to withdraw his statement and of not forgiving ‘some of the over excited’ newspapers, allegedly creating confusion over COVID-19 situation.
Earlier on Tuesday, Deb said that he did not threaten anyone in his speech at Sabroom. He maintained that his comment was meant to prevent people from being misled.
Deb was speaking with journalists of the Tripura Electronic Media Society this evening. He said that the role of the media is to highlight the mistakes of the government, but if they mislead people, it would not be acceptable.
The West district magistrate had served a notice to Dainik Sambad- a local vernacular daily in Tripura for news published on COVID-19 situation demanding evidence to support the news report or face penal provisions.
The journalists’ body has also demanded that the government should refrain from taking any ‘undemocratic’ and ‘intolerant’ steps in order to suppress the freedom of press. The body demanded that the government should give at least 15 days time to submit a reply to any government notice regarding publication of news.
The press statement also cited that the journalist body would stick to their demand to withdraw the statement made by the chief minister against the media. They also said that following the comment of the chief minister, a number of incidents have occurred in the state.
The journalist body also observed that in the past 30 months at least 17 incidents of attack were carried out in different parts of the state, while the state played the role of spectators on the recent attack over two journalists after the comment of the chief minister.
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