February 25th, 2012
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Nitish government harasses media: PCI chairman

katjuPatna: The Bihar government stifles the freedom of speech and expression of the fourth estate and harasses it if they write against the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government, opined Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju. Katju said the information he had gathered about the media in Bihar was “not good”. The alleged action of the government is a violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian constitution, he added. He has also warned the government of a thorough investigation into the situation by a three-member PCI team.

Katju’s statement during an interaction at the Senate Hall of Patna University sparked instant protest by the principal of Patna College, Lalkeshwar Prasad, who left in a huff. It caused disruption in the programme for some time.

Commenting on the situation in Bihar he said, “I have heard that the present government established better law and order in Bihar compared to the erstwhile rule of Lalu Prasad. The second thing I have heard is that there was freedom of the press during Lalu’s rule … but press doesn’t enjoy freedom at present. The information I have gathered about the media in Bihar is not good … whatever is happening here is not good.”

After the departure of Prasad, Katju said: “I am a thoroughly democratic person. If anybody doesn’t agree to whatever I say … they should not try to disturb … don’t pick up a fight with a man from Allahabad. I know how to set things right.”


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