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Odishatv Bureau

Amid the raging controversy over the chaining of a journalist in Balasore district, the police on Friday said departmental action has been initiated against those responsible for the incident.

Balasore superintendent of police (SP) informed about the initiation of action against erring officials in connection with the chaining of the journalist hailing from Nilagiri to a hospital bed after his arrest in a case. The SP, however, did not divulge further detail.

The photo of the journalist with his leg tied to a hospital bed during treatment was widely circulated triggering sharp reactions and condemnations from different quarters including the media fraternity across the State.

The members of the Balasore district unit of Odisha Journalist Association (OJA) today took out a protest rally condemning the incident and demanded immediate suspension of the inspector-in-charge of Nilgiri police station. The agitators also demanded an investigation into the matter by a senior officer.

"We are carrying out protests in all districts wearing black badges protesting the inhumane treatment meted out to the journalist. We are submitting memoranda to district heads seeking immediate action against those responsible," said an agitator. 

According to sources, the journalist was accused of assaulting a home guard. On the basis of a complaint, he was arrested. 

The scribe was admitted to a hospital in Balasore on Wednesday after his condition deteriorated. During treatment, his left leg was chained to the hospital bed. Following widespread condemnation, the chain was removed. 

Inspector-General of Police (Central Range) Narasingha Bhol termed the incident unfortunate and illegal. "The matter has been taken very seriously. A DSP is heading the probe. One Havildar has been placed under suspension. If need be, action will be taken against IIC on basis of the probe," he said. 

Meanwhile, the president of the district human rights board reached Nilgiri to inquire about the incident.

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