PANAJI: In an attempt to stonewall the press, the Home department of Goa government has barred senior police officers from interacting with the media on crime cases. This has further murdered freedom of press, Congress on Sunday alleged.
Congress Senior leader Amarnath Panjikar referring to the news appearing in newspapers about a circular issued by the Director General of Police (DGP) Jaspal Singh, which has reportedly barred senior police officers from interacting with the media on policing matters, said that this is an attempt to hide the crime record.
“In recent years, Goa is witnessing a law and order problem, which has collapsed with murders, robberies and cases of attacks on tourists taking place. Home department, which is handled by Chief minister Pramod Sawant, is trying to hide crime cases by restraining the media. This is murder of democracy,” Panjikar, chairman of the Media Department, said.
He said that the media is the fourth of pillar of democracy and hence it should not be destroyed. “Government first tried to suppress the voice of the public and now it is trying to stifle the media. This has proved that the BJP government can’t face the media and hence is trying to obstruct them everywhere,” he said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi never dares to face the media, because they have no answers to their wrong doings. Same strategies are now applied in Goa, where officers are told to remain mum. This is not democracy,” he said.
“We have come to know that IPS officer Shivendu Bhushan has been designated as Public Relations Officer (PRO), who shall disseminate information to the media. But he never responds, I personally tried contacting him, but he didn’t answer my phone. Even he failed to reply to messages, if his approach is such dull then how will the media get information,” Panjikar questioned.
He said that the home department has failed to upload FIRs on their websites within 24 hours as directed by the Supreme Court. “Dadagiri of the BJP government is such that it doesn’t obey the Apex court. We strongly condemn the actions of the BJP government, which is trying to strangle the media,” he said.
“We demand that the Home Department should immediately revoke the circular or give responsibility of PRO to IPS officer Nidhin Valsan, who is media friendly,” Panjikar demanded.