Freedom Of Press Curbed Under Rule of Dictatorship In Odisha, Says Congress

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is now under undeclared dictatorship where the press has been suppressed, said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Patnaik.

Speaking to media persons in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, Patnaik said in a state where the journalists have always enjoyed the freedom to express themselves freely and independently, now find it suffocating.

“In a democracy, press plays the role of fourth pillar and is considered as conscience keeper of the society. But in our state, the media has been reduced to silent witness to the rule of autocracy due to pressure tactics of the BJD government,” he said.

Stating that the Congress would not tolerate BJD’s machinations to suppress freedom of speech, he said it would continue to fight for journalists’ freedom of speech, he said the raid on the office of vernacular daily Sambad is the latest case.

“Whenever any media house opens its mouth to reveal truth about the state of affairs, its office is raided. It is a sign of desperation and autocracy. It cannot be tolerated,” Patnaik said.

Condemning the state government’s restrictions on entry of journalists to the Lok Seva Bhawan and lobby of the Assembly, he said such constraints were never imposed during the Congress rule.

Claiming that such drastic measures against the media was not seen in the last 23 years, the Congress leader said the people would give a befitting reply to BJD in next elections.

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