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Devbrat Patnaik

Balasore: A journalist of an electronic media organisation in Odisha sustained grievous injuries after being allegedly attacked by timber smugglers in Nilagiri area of Balasore district on Saturday. The victim, identified as Prafulla Kumar Majhi, was brutally assaulted near Garadi Chhak while he was returning home from work.

Majhi was initially rushed to Barahamapur hospital and later shifted to Nilagiri sub-divisional hospital as his condition deteriorated.

According to sources, a report on the timber smuggling was telecast on the particular channel few days back. Based on the report, officials of the forest department conducted a raid on the timber depots and seized large volume of timber stocked

Sources have now claimed the attack on Majhi is a fallout of the report that was telecast on the alleged timber smuggling.

Meanwhile, strongly condemning the incident, locals have demanded action against the attackers. They have alleged such instances of the blatant attack on the freedom of press have become a common affair in the State now.

Last month, supporters of a political party allegedly attacked a journalist while he was covering second phase polls at a booth in Kantamala of Boudh district. Shambhu Prasad Sethi, working as a journalist with a web channel, had alleged that supporters of a political party and the Booth Level Officer (BLO) snatched his microphone and camera while he was covering an alleged booth capturing incident live. He was also allegedly beaten up by the attackers.

Prior to that, Chandan Paikaray, journalist of an electronic media was reportedly attacked when he had gone to cover election news. It was alleged that the miscreants attacked Paikaray for covering some news against the local MLA.

In January, one Kapilendra Pradhan, working for an Odia daily, sustained multiple injuries after he was brutally attacked inside a cinema hall in Bhubaneswar on the Republic Day for opposing a group of students who were passing lewd and vulgar comments on women.

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