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Kendrapara SP-Journo Face-Off Rocks Assembly, Opposition Seeks Speaker’s Ruling For Odisha Media Protection


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18 July 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: A day after the untoward incident of confrontation between Kendrapara SP and a media person of the Odia edition of a national news channel reportedly during the Chief Minister’s Patkura by-poll campaign, the issue rocked Odisha Assembly when the Opposition trooped into the well and created ruckus.

The irate opposition members demanded punitive action against the alleged high-handedness of Kendrapara SP and they also sought ruling from the Speaker for the just protection to the Fourth Estate at par with the legislation enacted in this regard by the Maharashtra Assembly.

Soon after the Zero Hour began at 11.30 am today, the issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik which was also backed by senior Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

The Opposition demanded immediate action against the allegedly erring SP of Kendrapara for his alleged misbehaviour against the news channel representative in public and which has also been captured on camera.

The irate members also demanded a ruling from the Speaker so that the State Government should enact a special legislation like Maharashtra for safeguarding the media which is deemed to be the Fourth Estate in a democratic nation.

As the BJP members trooped into the well of the House and pandemonium was witnessed before the podium, Speaker Surya Narayan Patro had to adjourn the proceedings for 15 minutes till 12 noon.      

Notably, four Uttar Pradesh policemen, including SSP Mathura, have been suspended on the day for allegedly assaulting a journalist on Tuesday there when he had asked the policemen on duty not to park their vehicle in the middle of the road as people were already facing traffic congestion on Govardhan Road. The journalist was even hospitalized after the alleged high-handedness of the policemen.

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Pramilla Mallick, Govt Chief Whip

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Pradipta Naik, Leader of Opposition

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Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Congress MLA