महाराष्ट्र के सीएम और गृह मंत्री की पीसी का बायकाट करेंगे पत्रकार

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: JUSTICE FOR J DEY : AN UPDATE : After the overwhelming protests and sit-ins by journalists on Monday, June 13, yesterday Wednesday saw a day-long hunger strike by over 200 journalists at the Marathi Patrakar Sangh compound. Chain hunger strikes were also organized at all district headquarters like Pune and Nagpur.

Tempers ran high through the day since the chief minister Prithviraj Chavan not only turned down the demand for transferring the investigation into the J Dey killing to the CBI, but also failed to push through the law for protection of journalists as he had promised on Monday. Reports emerging from the cabinet meeting held yesterday said that both ruling NCP and Congress ministers opposed the law for security of journalists and instead demanded a state level body where ministers and others can lodge complaints against journalists!

A solemn and well-attended condolence meeting was also held yesterday evening in the memory of J Dey at the protest site in Mumbai. Senior Hindi journalist O P Tiwari, and DNA editor Aditya Sinha were among those that spoke on the occasion.

SUSPECTS RELEASED

The highlight of yesterday’s cabinet briefing was the news that 3 suspects had been detained and a police theory was leaked that it was the Chota Shakeel mob that had done the job. The name of a Sandalwood smuggler has also been mentioned as the possible conspirator who had organized the hit. By the morning of today June 15, all these theories had evaporated, as the Mumbai Police was forced to release the suspects for want of evidence. Chota Shakeel, speaking from his den, denied he had anything to do with the execution.

The complete confusion and possible collusion was highlighted by counsel for the Press Club, Navroz Seervai, who pressed the prayer that the investigations be transferred to the CBI. The Press Club and the Marathi Patrakar Parishad have moved an intervention application along with two criminal PILs pleading for the transfer of the J Dey case to the CBI. The bench of Ranjanna Desai and More JJ have admitted the intervention application and have directed the Mumbai Police to file a report on the progress of the case. The High Court bench will hear the matter again on Tuesday June 21. Considering the gravity of the case, the Advocate General has been directed to appear on behalf of the government on Tuesday.

FUTURE ACTION

The coordination committee of journalist organizations is considering calling for a boycott of all press and electronic coverage of meetings and briefings by the chief minister and home minister R R Patil. A final decision will be taken soon. A large number of Press Clubs and other journalist organizations have held protest rallies and condolence meetings all over the country. These include protests in Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Agartala.

More importantly, editors of national newspapers and TV networks are meeting in Mumbai on Saturday afternoon to take up the issue of justice for J Dey with the state government. They will also address a gathering of journalists in the evening. This will be followed up with representations to Union Home minister P Chidamabaram and the Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh next week.

Keep the fires burning!

Secretary

Press Club

Mumbai

June 16, 2011


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