Maharashtra Journalists’ Day was celebrated in State on Tuesday the January 6. But the scribes in Nagpur chose the day to highlight increasing atrocities on journalists. The office-bearers of Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ) held a press conference and condemned the highhanded attitude of policemen toward scribes who are the Fourth Pillar of Democracy in India.
Elaborating on the disturbing trend, the office-bearers of NUWJ Praddep Moitra, Shirish Borkar and Anupam Soni said that the Crime Reporter of GTPL News Snehadeep Bhongade and In-time News Cameraman Sushant Mishra on Tuesday had accompanied a group of people. The large group of people had gone to Ajni Police Post located at Shatabdi Square to seek information over the accident in which a father-daughter duo was crushed to death by a truck in the area on January 1. The people wanted to know whether the truck driver was arrested and the measures taken by police to avert such accidents. The scribes Bhongade and Mishra were interviewing the people. The people were airing their grievances over recurring accidents in the area. However the atmosphere turned tense when Ajni API R K Dhode arrived at the spot. As soon as the API Dhode saw the scribes interviewing the people he rushed to them menacingly and snatched camera, boom mike and cable and heckled them. The API also allegedly resorted to abusing the scribes and blamed them for inciting people and thus creating tension. However, the people showed their anger for misbehaving with the two journalists and questioned their attitude the API Dhode returned the camera, the boom mike and the cable, said the office-bearers of NUWJ. “The journalists never incite people and create tension. It is the police inaction that leads to increase in crimes,” said Moitra, Borkar and Soni.
“The journalists of Nagpur strongly condemn and protest the highhanded actions of policemen particularly the API Dhodge. The NUWJ demands immediate suspension of the irresponsible cop,” said the office-bearers.
Citing another example of police misbehavior, Moitra said that when the Times of India Crime Reporter Sumitra Bose had gone to court to cover production of accused in the murder case of Sagir Siddiqui the API Bandekar misbehaved with Bose and asked him to leave the court premises. The cop has no right to remove any journalist from the court. The judge also reprimanded the API Bandekar for his unacceptable act and allowed Bose to stay in the court, said Moitra.
“Such incidents of police misbehavior are increasing during the tenure of Police Commissioner K K Pathak. Pathak is boss since the past two years. The crime situation has worsened,” claimed Moitra, Borkar and Soni.
They further said a delegation of NUWJ will meet the Commissioner of Police on Wednesday (January 7) and submit a memorandum of demands to him. The journalists should be given protection and harassed. A Journalist Act on the lines of Prevention of Atrocities Act should be enacted for protection of scribes. The journalists are also moving the Human Rights Commission in this regard, said the office-bearers of NUWJ.