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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Over the last few months, Odisha Television Ltd has been in the target of the Naveen Patnaik government for exposing the corrupt practices of the government in the times of a pandemic. Managing Director of OTV, Jagi Mangat Panda, stated this through a press release issued on Saturday.

The statement of the MD comes after some Odia TV channels affiliated with the Naveen Patnaik government carried stories this morning about an FIR having been filed against her and her family members over alleged Dalit atrocities.

"These allegations are totally baseless and we vehemently deny them," Panda said, adding "ever since OTV covered  stories about Covid corruption in Odisha, various state government authorities have been targeting OTV and its employees, as well as me and my family members."

Given the current circumstances and the vengeful approach of the Odisha government, Panda foresees more such false cases in the future. "This vindictive harassment by the Naveen Patnaik government, based on false allegations, has been there for everyone to see, and we fully expect more such false cases against us in future. We had earlier approached the courts and have received interim relief in the two such matters from the Honourable High Court."

The MD further sought investigation by neutral agencies into the allegations. "There must be free and unbiased investigation in all these matters by credible and neutral agencies. We have full faith in the judiciary of the nation and are confident that justice will be done, " she stated.

In the meantime we appeal to the public to recognise this harassment for what it is, i.e. vendetta and attempt to dissuade us from exposing Covid corruption in Odisha, Panda mentioned in her statement.

Last month, a complaint was lodged with the Baghamari police in Khordha district in which the OTV authorities were accused of land encroachment. In the complaint, a few villagers of Sarua, Jayamangala and Goudagotha in Khordha district alleged that they were being threatened and restricted from going to their own farmland citing that erection of a boundary wall on way to farmland has blocked their path.

"A case has been registered at Baghamari police station in connection with the issue. SDPO, Sadar has been handed over the charge of probe into the case. Action will be taken as per law as and when we get a prima facie evidence," said Khordha SP Ajay Pratap Swain.

While the Sarua site in-charge of OTV Anirudha Panda had termed the allegations as baseless and motivated, a clean chit after enquiry by Begunia Tehsildar in December last year in pursuant to a High Court order, also proved that encroachment allegations against OTV are baseless.

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