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Odisha Journalists Body Demands Law To Protect Scribes, All Parties Express Solidarity


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08 February 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das


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Bhubaneswar: In wake of the attacks on journalists across Odisha, hundreds of scribes under the banner of Utkal Sambadika Sangha staged dharna at the Lower PMG Square in Bhubaneswar today demanding a law for protection of media persons and institutions in State.

The journalists have demanded the State Government to frame an act in accordance with the ‘Maharashtra Mediapersons and Media Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to property) Act, 2017’.

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra also raised the issue during Zero Hour in the State Assembly today and demanded that the Rs 2 lakh Health Insurance cover for journalists should be hiked to Rs 5 lakh. Besides, provision of pension for retired journalists should also be increased.

Mishra argued that the journalists are working in adverse conditions and it is because of them that any discussion in the House reaches to people. The demand was backed by Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy, opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati and BJP Legislature Party leader Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo.

Following the discussion, Pradip Kumar Amat instructed the Government to take a decision in this regard soon.

Briefing mediapersons after the Assembly session, BJD spokesperson Capt Dibya Shankar Mishra said, the members of the State legislature have expressed their solidarity with demands of the journalists. He opined that Odisha Government will be successful in taking journalism to another level.

Senior Congress leader Prafulla Majhi said that journalists are considered as the fourth pillar of democracy and their protection is also responsibility of the Government.

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Bibhuti Bhusan Kar, State President, Utkal Sambadika Sangha

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Capt Dibya Shankar Mishra, Spokesperson, BJD

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Prafulla Majhi, Senior Congress Leader, Odisha