Rights activists seek apology from Vishal Dev for misbehaving with journalist

Bhubaneswar: Taking a stern note of misbehaviour towards OTV reporter by Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Sports and Youth Services department, Vishal Kumar Dev; rights activists Biswapriya Kanungo and Narendra Mohanty today demanded an unconditional apology from the senior bureaucrat.

In a memorandum to Odisha Chief Minister, the rights activists have condemned the discriminatory behaviour of Vishal Dev citing that the act was against the spirit of ‘democratic body polity.’

The activists have issued a notice under section 13 of the Press Council of India Act demanding an apology from Dev for lashing out at OTV journalist inside the latter’s official chamber on November 21.

It is pertinent to mention here that Dev lashed out at OTV journalist when he was seeking comments on the Hockey World Cup. Dev reportedly asked the reporter to go out of his room and stated that it was neither a park nor a public place and he was not invited.

Dev was aggrieved over OTV report which brought out the discrepancies and hassles faced by thousands of fans during online ticket sale of the opening ceremonies of the Hockey World Cup.

“The action of the bureaucrat is a mark of highhandedness to silence the media. Hope, you will consider our concern against the gagging of media and take necessary steps to direct Mr. Dev to beg an unconditional apology for the incident in public, and your government will issue a guideline for all bureaucrats how to deal with media persons and people of the state in general keeping in view that they are public servants in a democratic setup or we shall have no option than to lodge a complaint before the Press Council of India,” the memorandum read.

Meanwhile, resentment is brewing among people across Odisha over Vishal Dev’s behaviour towards the media.

Kesinga Journalists’ Association today condemned such attempts to throttle the voice of media.

Moreover, Congress MLA Jacob Pradhan stated that “Such incident is totally unfortunate and we condemn it. In Odisha, not BJD leaders rather bureaucrats are running the government.”