Journalists wear black badges protesting against CM's remark on media in Agartala Credit: EastMojo Image

Agartala: Journalists in Tripura wore black badges in protest against chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s statement on the media and his alleged attack over the freedom of speech and expression on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Friday.

Earlier, on September 11, speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the special economic zone (SEZ) at Sabroom, Deb said that he said that some newspapers are trying to confuse people of Tripura and said he would not ‘forgive them’.

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“Some newspapers are trying to create confusion among the people, getting over-excited. History will not forgive them, people of Tripura, will not forgive them and I, Biplab Kumar Deb, shall not forgive them. I do whatever I say, history is testimony to that,” Deb said.

The Assembly of Journalist (AOJ) was formed in protest against the threat to the media and later served a 3-day ultimatum to the chief minister to withdraw his statement. However, four days later, Deb said he did not threaten or intent to hurt anyone.

Speaking with reporters at Agartala Press Club (APC), Subal Kumar Dey, chairman of AOJ and APC president said that the role of the media is to work as the mouthpiece of the people and speak for their well being.

“The right to expression and freedom is being compressed in the last 30 months, which was not even faced during the national emergency. The officials are tightlipped due to the order issued by the government restricting them to pass any information to media,” Dey said.

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He also said that the media persons are being pressured with frequent summons to police stations, assault and threat calls from goons across the state.

Speaking with Eastmojo, Jayanta Bhattacharya, senior journalist said, “On 11 September, the chief minister has said that he will not forgive us and history will not forgive us. We are not criminals nor have we committed any crime, so he cannot threat the media persons like this”.

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He also said that a letter would be sent to the Prime Minister, union home minister, union information and broadcasting minister and press council of India, adding that in a democracy the relation between the media and government should be cordial.

Earlier, on September 19, a six-member delegation of AOJ, led by chairman Subal Kumar Dey, submitted a memorandum to Tripura governor Ramesh Kumar Bais at the end of 3-day ultimatum given to the chief minister to withdraw his statement made against a section of media.

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