Current AffairsIndia

IDMA calls for an end to the witch-hunt against OTV by the Odisha State Government

Indian Digital Media Association (IDMA) passed a notice on Monday regarding the concerted witch hunt by the Odisha State Government against OTV for their reportage of the alleged corruption by the Naveen Patnaik Government. They also expressed shock and dismay about OTV site in-charge at Sarua, Aniruddha Panda being arrested by a group of policemen at 3 AM in the morning.
They mentioned about Randhir Singh seeking protection by the central government from the excesses of the police officials against his family and employees at the channel’s studio in Sarua, Khordha, under the pretext of carrying an investigation into a land issue on November 10.
It was also reported that Ramesh Rath, Senior Reporter with Odisha Television (OTV) who had reported the stories of alleged corruption, was arbitrarily arrested up by a group of policemen barely a few hundred metres from his residence and was not allowed any communication, even with his family members. Above 20 cases, including criminal cases have been filed against OTV after the reportage of the cases of alleged corruption by the Naveen Patnaik government.
IDMA further argued that the very function of media is to report the stories for which they have evidence. If every government starts persecuting the media because they don’t like the stories that are reported, the country would eventually have no media left. Freedom of the press must be held sacrosanct if democracy has to thrive in a diverse country such as India and state government especially need to know that they are not above scrutiny.
IDMA calls upon the Naveen Patnaik government to uphold the spirit of democracy, release the reporters who are now being hounded to resign from the channel in custody and stop the persecution of OTV, its reporters and employees.
They further stated, the governments of the day must remember that even if they manage to get a channel to stop their reportage, the stories that have been reported live on. Such intimidatory tactics have certainly lost their steam in the digital age.

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