IFWJ urges CM Sonowal to ensure lady scribe’s modesty

Lucknow: Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) president K
Vikram Rao expressed serious concern over the incident of manhandling
a lady reporter during a formal press meet in Gauhati Press Club
recently and urged Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, also in
charge of State home portfolio, to nab the culprits for lawful
punishments.

Mentionable is that, the lady scribe, who represents a popular
Assamese daily newspaper, was assigned for a media conference at the
press club on 16 January 2021, where she was verbally and physically
abused by the conference convenors namely film producer Umashankar
Jha and his associate Pranjal Gogoi. The victim claimed that she was
misbehaved only for putting some tough questions to the organizers.
Meanwhile, she lodged an FIR at Panbazar all women police station in
the city and subsequently the investigating officers have collected
the necessary CCTV visuals from the press club authority. Various
media organizations raised voices against the unprecedented incident
and demanded exemplary punishments to the abusers. However, the
accused individuals have already obtained bail even though the
investigation process is yet to be completed.

Lately, a number of Guwahati scribes demonstrated their angers against
the culprits and demanded justice to the victim reporter. The protest
demonstration on 19 January drew the attention and supports from
hundreds of media personnel. They also asked the press club authority,
which only released a statement cleverly avoiding the names of accused
individuals (but identifying the victim lady), to fully cooperate with
the investigating police personnel.

“I would like to appeal CM Sonowal ji to take personal interest over
the matter as it would remain as a black spot over the present
government, which has other ways implemented a number of media
welfare schemes,” said Rao adding that for any reason it is not
acceptable to abuse a reporter while facing uncomfortable questions by
the press conveners. Stay mute to such an incident, where shockingly
the victim is a woman, it would be very untoward to the government, he
concluded.

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