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Report;Badal Tah,Odishabarta
Rayagada, October 5: Working journalists of Rayagada, cutting across their affiliations with state and national level media associations, vehemently opposed district admn’s direction to submit their bio-data in the local police stations. The information sheet provided by the office of DI & PRO asked silly questions like political affiliation, association with any frontal organization, whether doing any business, educational qualification, registration numbers of vehicles used by the scribes, etc, which were derogatory according to the resisting scribes.

Some of the scribes requested the District Collector Smt Guha Punam Tapas Kumar to identify the persons extorting money as “Dada Batis” in the name of journalists. Taking a cue from this letter Sri Birendra Karakara, ADM, Rayagada issued a letter to identify such persons to SP. In turn, SP wrote to DI & PRO for instructing all the journalists of the districts to provide a detailed information directly in the police stations. 

The press reporters assembled in the PWD bungalow and resolved to register their protest against the wishful identification process of the district admn. “Identification of journalists is a welcome step; but the purpose of the district administration to malign the self vanity of the working journalists is really painful. We resist the way the derogatory questions asked in the information sheet provided by the dist admn”, said Sri Basudeb Patra, a senior journalist of the district. According to Sri Jogeswar Das, another very senior scribe, the district admn has played a tactical game to create fissures in the media unity. He also questioned the authority of the district admn to initiate such a process. “The district admn should have done a consultative process before issuing such an insulting letter. The admn should have cross checked with the validity of such request of those scribes holding positions of important office bearers of local press unions”,  said Sri Suresh Padhy, yet another investigative journalist.

“While our Editors of the local working journalists officially inform the district administration about our appointment and we have time and again deposited the certified copies of our press IDs in the office of DI & PRO, the district admn very well knows our authenticity. Asking the journalists to make a beeline before the police station to prove their chastity is horrendous. Even our Editors have not asked such silly questions which are unwarranted”, said Badal kumar Tah, a senior reporter.

Then all the reporters rallied to Collector’s office to present a memorandum of protest. In the absence of Collector, the memorandum was presented to ADM who agreed that writing such a letter by DI & PRO was a mistake and had hampered the self respect of the press reporters. He also expressed his disgruntlement on DI & PRO who wrote directly without his authority’s approval. He assured to look into the matter soon for an amicable solution.

The memorandum mentioned that if such an attitude of district admn continued, it would lead to administrative abuse and collapse. The scribe had demanded that the letter issued by district admn be withdrawn in true spirit to restore a cordial relation. The copies of the memorandum have been sent to Minister, I&PR, Govt of Odisha, Editors of print and electronic media in Odisha, state and national level press unions, Chief Secretary & DG of Police.

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2018-02-19 09:06