Tripura Journalists Protest Against Chief Minister's 'Won't Forgive' Comment

Biplab Deb had criticised the media for their stories of alleged mismanagement of coronavirus. (File)


On Gandhi Jayanti, Journalists in Tripura wore “black badges” as a mark of protest against last month’s comment by Chief Minister Biplab Deb, where he allegedly  “threatened” the media by his “won’t forgive” comment.

Demanding withdrawal of the Chief Minister’s alleged “threats to the media” at an event in Sabroom in southern Tripura on September 11, the Tripura Assembly of Journalists (AoJ), a body comprising editors and Journalists that is spearheading the protests recently met with Governor Ramesh Bais, seeking his intervention.

Demanding withdrawal of the comments made by the Chief Minister, AOJ chairman Subal Kumar Dey said they would send a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Press Council of India and other rights bodies in India and abroad.

“We have launched a democratic movement as the chief minister did not pay heed to our demand for withdrawing the threat,” Mr Dey said, news agency PTI reported.

Chief Minister Biplab Deb had criticised a section of the media for publishing stories of alleged mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, on the sidelines of a ceremony for a special economic zone in Sabroom.

Mr Deb had said he would not “forgive” the media for their alleged “confused” reportage. “A few newspapers and journalists are getting overexcited and confusing the people of Tripura. History would not forget them. I will also not forgive them. People of Tripura will not forget them. Biplab Deb will not forget them. I do what I say, I keep my words. History will remain witness to it,” Mr Deb said.

The Forum for Protection of Media and Journalists had also condemned the statement.

On September 14, a journalist was thrashed by unknown people after he criticised Biplab Deb’s “won’t forgive” comment.

Parashar Biswas, a journalist with a Bengali daily in Tripura, had just recovered from COVID-19 infection, which he contracted while on duty. After he was discharged from a COVID-19 care unit, he made a video criticising the Chief Minister for allegedly threatening journalists.

(With inputs from PTI)


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