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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: In yet another instance of violation of human rights and highhandedness against OTV employees, Manoranjan Sarangi, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the leading media house in the State, was picked up by police without any case or notice in the wee hours of Sunday.

Such an act by police has left Sarangi’s family in utter distraught as they said no information has been shared with them by the officials of the crime branch on his whereabouts after he was picked up from house without any intimation.

Sarangi’s daughter, Gayatri informed that her father has high blood pressure (BP) and Sugar problems and he was not allowed to take medicine and food when the police took him away in the wee hours.

“Four to five persons, who identified themselves as crime branch officials, arrived at our house in the early hours today. My father was sleeping and he was not allowed to take his medicines. We are unable to contact him over phone and his whereabouts are still unknown,” said Gayatri.

Sarangi’s 92-year-old mother said, “I saw a group of people in our house and they took my son away. They did not tell us anything. I am in a state of shock as I do not know where they have taken my son and why? I will eat only after my son returns,” said Sarangi's aging mother who is confined to bed.

Not only family members, several political leaders, cutting across party lines, expressed shock and anguish over the police brutality and excess by the ruling dispensation in the state.

Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi expressed shock over the inhuman move by the Odisha government.

“I do not know how to react as a television news channel is doing its duty by highlighting irregularities. I fail to understand whether the Odisha government is afraid or it wants to hide something,” questioned the Bhubaneswar MP.

Aparajita Sarangi further stated that OTV is presenting the truth by bringing to fore the lacunes in governance. The employees of the channel are working diligently and with transparency .

“I think the Odisha government should initiate corrective measures if the channel is bringing out the irregularities to the limelight. Everybody is aware of the state of governance in Odisha which ranked at bottom 3 in the development index among 28 States in the country in a recently published report,” Aparajita Sarangi added.

The Bhubaneswar MP further stated that, “Everybody in the State is aware of the ways OTV is being harassed and attempts are being made to muzzle the freedom of press. I urge the Odisha government not to commit mistakes after mistakes. The CFO is just an employee of the channel and who will be responsible if anything happens to his family,” she asked.

Congress leader, Pradeep Majhi said it was not for the first time that such vindictive action has been taken against OTV.

“It is unfortunate the way the popular TV channel is being harassed and attempts being made to muzzle its voice in the State. It is not a healthy sign in a democracy,” said Majhi.

Majhi further said, “The Congress party condemns such action against OTV. I appeal to the channel to continue with its work and the people of the State stand with the channel.”

Senior BJP leader, Surama Padhy also condemned the attempts by the Odisha government to suffocate the freedom of press in the State.

“Law should take its own course. But it appears that there is some hidden agenda behind such targeted action against OTV employees and the channel,” said Padhy.

Congress MLA, Suresh Routray said, “All the industries are closed across the State and the inefficient Odisha government is targeting only OTV!"

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