Working Journalists in Odisha need Protection

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Assault on Journalists continues unabated in Odisha. There has been a spike in such incidents in the recent days, which started with the elections. Whether the attack on Zee Odisha Journalist Chandan Paikaray in Kakatpur in March 2019, attack on Samaja Reporter Pratap Patra by the Sand Mafia in May 2019, there was no let up in such incidents.

Ironically, in less than a week this July, Journalists have been at the receiving end from our Police who are there to protect common people. Kendrapara SP Niti Shekhar's aggression towards News18 Odia Journalist Ajesh Mallick in Barimul in the presence of BJD leaders, Dhanupali (Sambalpur) IIC Kamal Lochan Panda manhandling a Reporter Gunamani Biswal and assault on Kanak News staff at Patnaikia Chhak in Puri by a group of Policemen, have a shivering impact on the Working Journalists in the State.

Without indulging in blame game or justifying any act, the Odisha Government should enact a law to protect the Working Journalists of the State like they do for the Doctors. This is the need of the hour. If Journalists are threatened, harassed, bullied and attacked, the common people would feel insecure, which won't be in the best interest of the State.