Attack On Scribe: ‘Kendrapara SP Can’t Escape With A SORRY’

Bhubaneswar/Kendrapara: Media is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy. However, it seems Odisha government is finding it knotty to acknowledge this fact which, in turn, has made journalists the biggest victims. The recent alleged attack on a journalist by a Superintendent of Police (SP) in poll-bound Patkura is a glaring example of this.

On Wednesday, a video purportedly showing the Kendrapara SP, Niti Sekhar raising his hand to slap a local television journalist, went viral on social media. After criticism from several quarters, the SP later in the day sought an apology stating that he had absolutely no intention to misbehave or hurt anyone.

“I haven’t even touched anyone, slapping is far too an assumption. Anyway if it has hurt any one, I express my apology. We all are doing our job. Certain behavior at certain time may hurt some but again there was absolutely no intention to misbehave or hurt anyone. Let’s forget and move ahead looking forward to a cordial working relationship.”

– Kendrapara SP, Niti Sekhar.

However, the Assembly today witnessed an uproar by both BJP and the Congress, who went hammer and tongs at the ruling-BJD over the attack on scribe. Both the parties demanded the Speaker to direct concerned officials to take stringent action against the SP and suspend him immediately.

After Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro denied to issue a ruling on this, the MLAs rushed to the Well of the House and raised slogans demanding immediate action against the SP. The House was subsequently adjouned till 3PM.

Leader of Opposition Pradipta Nayak said, “Kendrapara SP attacked the journalist in presence of two former BJD ministers. This is an insult to the fourth pillar of democracy. The SP should be immediately transferred or suspended.”

Condemning the incident, BJP MLA Bishnu Sethi stated, “Attack on media persons is a disgrace to democracy. There are many such instances- in KIIT, in Puri, Bhubaneswar and now Kendrapara. The SPs are acting as workers of the ruling party. Therefore, we have urged the Speaker to come up with a ruling for protection of the journalists.”

On the other hand, hinting at the recent incident of BJD Patnagarh MLA who was jailed for forcing a JE to do sit-ups in public view, the Congress MLAs said that Kendrapara SP too can’t escape with a mere apology.

Senior Congress legislator Narasingha Mishra said, “A case was registered against Patnagarh MLA for forcing a JE to do sit-ups. Even though he had apologised for his misbehaviour, he was arrested and sent to jail. In the Kendrapara case, the Speaker today mentioned that the SP has sought an apology. If seeking an apology makes the SP guiltless, then I think new rules should be introduced in the Assembly.”

Congress’ Tara Bahinipati too criticised the alleged dabbanggiri of the top cop, questioning,”Is this Rajatantra (Monarchy), Ganatantra (Democracy) or ‘NaveenTantra’? It’s unfortunate to see that journalists are targeted. Strict action should be taken against the SP.”

Wearing black badges in protest, the journalists in Kendrapara today staged an agitation and demanded action against Niti Sekhar. “The incident is painful and an example of the autocratic government. A man in uniform who has been given the responsibility of the district lost his grounds.”

Also Read: Odisha Police Dabanggiri! Kendrapara SP ‘Attacks’ Journalist