Mail News Service
Saraikela, May 26: The attempts to gag the Fourth Estate by the Jharkhand government has peeved the journalists throughout the state and they are simmering as a result of the highhandedness of senior state officials to curb the right of fair and independent reporting by scribes. One accredited journalist Basant Sahu was recently sent to jail at the behest of Seraikela-Kharsawan Deputy Commissioner. Founder of the Jharkhand Journalists’ Association (JJA) Shahnawaz Khan, who was addressing the members of the media at the Seraikela Circuit House, stated that the current attitude of the Hemant Soren government was a flashback to the emergency period when journalists were put behind bars for reporting the truth.
JJA state secretary Abhay Labh stated that accredited journalist of Chandil Basant Sahu had been jailed at the instance of the Seraikela-Kharsawan Deputy Commissioner and this was mentioned in the case filed. He said that never had there been a confrontation between the media and the district administration until now. JJA organization secretary Bhagya Sagar Singh viewed, “it is of prime importance for the state that the fourth pillar be allowed to function independently as only then can the government be made aware of the people’s problems. But in the case of Basant Sahu, it is a reverse commentary for all journalists as they put in all the sweat and toil especially during this pandemic period to bring out news and the irony of it all is that it results in jail terms.”
JJA district president Pratap Mishra said that if Basant Sahu had committed an error inadvertently, he should have been given a chance to rectify it; instead, he was sent to jail like a criminal. Mishra said that all journalists vehemently protested this move of the district administration.
JJA Chandil divisional president Upendra Mahto asked, “Is questioning the government and its officials a crime? Is projecting the truth to the masses an offence punishable by a term behind bars? We journalists are the link between the government and the people and if our freedom to express, a constitutional right, is suppressed then where are we heading towards?”
JJA state executive committee member Manoj Swarnkar said that the former state government had ruthlessly tried to suppress the voice of the media but this government is no better. He said that that when the Hemant Soren government took charge of the state, the journalists expected a revival of expressing news with freedom but these expectations were belied and the suppressive attitude of government officials continued unabated.
Senior journalist Pramod Singh was all out for getting bail for Basant Sahu on a priority basis. Shahnawaz Khan said that a complaint would be put up at the Press Council and the Human Rights Commission today. He also said that a protest will be lodged with the Chief Secretary against this uncalled for administrative move.
The meeting was attended by Manoj Swarnkar, Upendra Mahto, Himanshu Gope, Sanjay Mahto, K Mahto, Khagendra Mahto and Bhaskar Mishra from the Chandil Division while Gamharia was represented by Abhay Labh, Chandrabhushan Sharma, Gautam Sarkar, Ajit Labh and Jagjivan Mahto. Pratap Mishra, Bhagya Sagar Mishra, Pramod Singh, Anjani Pandey, Sachindra Mishra and Vipin Mishra were from Saraikela while Kharsawan was represented by Md Ramzan and Sachindra Das. Journalists from Chaibasa also attended the meeting.
Mail News Service