Minority Forum regrets Tuesday’s violence, but urges media to exercise caution

Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, Jan 15:


While regretting the violence by sections of the minority community on offices of leading Odia newspaper ‘Samaj’ for publication of a picture of Prophet Mohammed on Tuesday, the Odisha Minority Forum (OMF) urged the media to exercise caution while reporting on religious matters that have a potential to inflame passions.

Talking to the media persons here today, Dr Swarupananda Patra, president of OMF said, “As a member of the minority community and leader of OMF, I sincerely apologise for the violence against media establishments in some parts of the state yesterday. But at the same time, the media, which plays a key role in disseminating information, should exercise great caution to ensure that religious sentiments of people are not hurt.”

Each media house should have a content screening committee comprising of representatives from the minority community who can sensitize and provide factual information regarding the religious sacraments being disseminated by the press and media relating to a particular minority community, Patra said.

The leaders of the minority community present at the press conference stressed on the need for media houses to have in-house content writers, who are aware of the religious sacraments and religious taboos and procedures of the minority communities, so as to prevent errors and factual biases in reporting.

“There should not be any error from the media house while publishing any religious content as it can hurt the sentiments of the community. Let us forget what happened yesterday and work together to bring peace back in the society,” said Haji Maulana Roshan Zameer.

The issue was evoked yesterday after some minority community members attacked media persons for the publication of a picture of Prophet Mohammed in an edition of the leading Odia daily.

Among the other prominent leaders of the Muslim community present at the press conference were Haji Mohammed Shah Nawaz, Maulana Nooruddin, Haji Sadakat Sahab, Sheikh Javed Ilahi, Maulana Mohd. Jabir Qasmi, Janab Mujahid Hussain, Janab Mushti Ashraf Ali and Maulana Imabulla.

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