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Vikash Sharma

The recent directive to restrict the 'unauthorised' entry of mediapersons inside school campuses has sparked resentment across Odisha.

Condemning the order to bar mediapersons' entry to school campuses, senior Congress leader Suresh Routray on Sunday said, “Steps are being taken to suppress corruption in the State.”

Routray said it is not the first time that such restrictions have been clamped on the journalists. Earlier, the entry of journalists was restricted inside SCB Medical College and Hospital, Secretariat and Odisha Assembly.

“Now the mediapersons are not allowed inside school campuses. Such a decision of the State government is condemnable,” Routray added.

Also Read: Lodge FIR against mediapersons for unauthorised entry in school campus: Kankadahad BEO

Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said, “I am surprised over the DEO and BEO letters. It is the duty of the journalists to show whenever there are some irregularities or wrong.”

Sarangi further said that during her tenure as education department secretary ‘no punishment zones’ were created and 'we had asked journalists to visit schools and report if there are any violations'. “The order is unfortunate and it should be withdrawn from immediate effect,” she added.

Senior Journalist, Prasanna Mohanty said, “The order of the School and Mass Education Department restricting the entry of journalists into school premises is purely unfortunate.”

Mohanty further stated, “Such order seems to have taken to suppress how the schools are functioning in the State which may put the government in an awkward situation.”

However, in his response to such a directive, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash blamed Web channels for the mess.

“Media has the right to show what is wrong and the problems. However, the role of media is much beyond what is required. Some are also disturbing the academics by entering the campuses. It is not only media, our department is also aware of the lacuna that we have.”

According to Dash, several non-registered Web channels' reporters are intervening in things that are not required. “I am aware of the letter issued by BEOs and the way teachers and students are being tortured in the name of media is not justified,” he added.

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