Activists Condemn the Odisha Journalist arrest

Civil Society Forum on Human Rights(CSFHR) and Report on Reporters (RoR) have condemned the the illegal arrest of a rural journalist Susanta Kumar Padhan of Bargarh.
He is a resident of Amamunda of Padmapur in Bargarh District . Odisha Police have detained him on Saturday at about 9.50 AM. Susanta is working with a weekly newspaper(Jail Jharaka) published from Bhubaneswar as District Correspondent at Bargarh. He is constantly writing against corruption, illegal drugs and liquor production and marketing in Padmapur area. Recently he had written a story how Padmapur police is involved in illegal drugs marketing. Recently We have met him on 21 January 2015 to collect facts about police harassment and illegal search in his house.
Convener of RoR and rights activist Mr. Akhand said, Police is intentionally arrested him due to his writing against police corruption.

Chandranath Dani of CSFHR also expressed grave concern in the matter.

Activits meet Odisha Chief Secretary, demands protection of HRDs

Bhubaneswar, 22.1.15 A team of Human Rights Defenders Sri Pradip Pradhan, state Convener, Odisha Soohana Adhikar Abhijan, Sri Pradipta Nayak, Member, HRD Alert, Sri Chandranath Dani and Sri Akhand, Huma Rights Activists met Chief Secretary, Odisha and submitted memorandum urging him e urging him to take steps for opening a special desk in the office of DG, Police to independently investigate into allegation of murder or attack on RTI Activists and provide them protection along with amending Odisha RTI Rules, 2005.

It needs to be mentioned here that on 29.12.14, Sri Ganesh Chandra Panda, RTI Activist of Berhampur, district headquarters of Ganjam district was severely attacked by some miscreants from backside and died on the spot, while he was on his morning walk, a few meters away from his house. To ascertain the facts and circumstances led to murder of Sri Panda, a fact-finding team had visited to Berhampur and conducted the spot inquiry into the murder and found that use of RTI to expose corruption was the reason behind the murder of Sri Ganesh handra Panda. The Team met Inspector I-Charge, Golanthara Police Station, Addl. SP and urged upon them to arrest the culprits behind the arrest. But the team came across a lot of issues involved in respect of murder of RTI Activist and attack on RTI users in the state.

Today, the delegation met the Chief Secretary and requested him for high-level inquiry into the circumstances leading to murder of RTI Activist Sri Ganesh Chandra Panda, open a Desk in the office of Director General of Police especially for RTI and Human Rights Activists to receive the complaints of attacks and threats against them and to take prompt action against the accused.

The Chief Secretary was also appraised about Anti-people provision of Odisha RTI Rules 2005 urged him for withdrawal of compulsory provision for submission of proof of citizenship at the time of filing RTI Applications and also for abolishing the compulsory provision for using the Form-A that requires inter alia disclosure of several personal details like permanent address and name of
father/spouse and provide adequate financial support for survival of the family members of Gaesh Ch. Panda, who attained martyrdom in course of his crusade against corruption through the use of RTI.

Safety of Journalists essential: Justice Mishra

Workshop on right to freedom of Expression:
By Prafulla Das in Bhubaneswar :

Safety and security of journalists is very much
essentials as they are working for the protection of Human Rights. They are working as whistleblowers to express the irregularities in the Society, said Justice Bira Kishore Mishra, the acting chairperson of Odisha Human Rights Commission(OHRC).

Inaugurating a two day media workshop for working journalists in Bhubaneswar on Friday, He said, “Commission is seriously considering to set up a focal point and a special cell to handle Human Rights Defender(HRD) cases”.

The workshop is jointly organised by Report on Reporters(RoR) and Civil Society Forum on Human Rights(CSFHR). Speaking on the Occasion rights activist Dhirendra Panda, the Convener of CSFHR, said, risks on journalists are increasing day by day. As they are defender, their rights should be protected. Convener of RoR, Sri Akhand said about the aim and objective of the forum.

In the different sessions senior journalists Jatindra Das, Basudev Mohapatra, Kedar Mishra and N.A.Shah Ansari spoke about right to freedom of press and use of social and community media for monitoring rights issues.

More than 40 journalists and journalism student from different parts of the state, have attended the workshop.

CSFHR’s Chandranath Dani, Akhand and Ranjit sutar have managed the program.

Odisha Youth award to Nishikanta Mishra

Bhubaneswar : City based organization Ever Green Forum has given Odisha Youth Award to Human Rights lawyer Nishikanta Mishra and eleven others. In a special function, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s Mayor Anata Narayan Jena and Odisha Commerce Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi has awarded Mr. Mishra.
It is noted here that Mr. Mishra is a well known advocate working in Odisha High Court.
He has raised various human rights issues in the
Court and rights Commission.

Article on Akhand in SAMAYA WEEKLY

ARTICLE on Akhand: An article published in SAMAYA weekly (Dec 28, 2014-Jan 3, 2015)

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