Agartala, Oct 2 (IANS) Journalists in Tripura on Friday wore “Black Badge” to protest the Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s reported “threats to the media” last month and attacks on seven reporters in less than a month.
Demanding withdrawal of the Chief Minister’s alleged “threats to the media” in an official function at Sabroom (in southern Tripura) on September 11, Tripura Assembly of Journalists (TAJ), a body comprising editors and working Journalists, spearheading the protests and recently met Governor Ramesh Bais seeking his intervention.
TAJ Chairman and veteran Editor Subal Kumar Dey said that after the Chief Minister’s alleged “threat”, seven journalists were attacked in different parts of Tripura but the police did not take any action against the attackers whereas the Chief Minister remained silent.
Demanding withdrawal of the comments made by the Chief Minister, Dey said that they would send a detailed memorandum to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Press Council of India and various other rights bodies in India and abroad.
“We would continue our agitations until the Chief Minister publicly sought apology for the threat to the media,” Dey added.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has, however, claimed that Deb’s comments were taken out of context.
An official of the CMO said that the present state government in Tripura is committed towards freedom of press, rights of media and the welfare of the journalists.
“During the lockdown period, the government had arranged vehicles for transporting newspapers to various districts and sub-divisions, increased the journalists’ pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000, provided financial aid to newspaper hawkers among other welfare activities to support the media. But a section of the media is trying to malign the image of the government, exaggerating the facts with some motives,” the official said.
He said that the Chief Minister during a recent meeting with the local television channels’ owners, categorically stated that his government was always supportive to the media and journalists.