Bhubaneswar: Criticism against 5T Secretary VK Pandian in two editorials in ‘Sambad’ seems to have shaken the system under BJD rule as the entire government machinery is in all efforts to suppress the voice of the media conglomerate.
The recent EOW raid at Sambad Bhawan and marathon interrogation of people in the top brass of the newspaper in a ‘false’ loan case reportedly leveled by some ex-employees of the media house clearly proved how the parallel government in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s administration is intolerant and scared of facing questions raised by ‘Sambad’ Editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on bureaucratic model of governance.
Since the editorials were published in the ‘Sambad’, the newspaper has become the prime target of the nefarious elements who are working overtime to rope in fake complainants.
The sycophants in the BJD government have been assigned to make false allegations against Odisha’s largest circulated Odia daily to appease the chief of the parallel government. A journalist-turned-politician, a former employee of ‘Sambad’, conspired to humiliate Soumya Ranjan Patnaik by arranging a number of complainants (ex-employees) in the ‘false’ Sambad loan scam.
Allegedly, the person spearheading the anti-Sambad campaign is influencing former Sambad employees on pretext of offering jobs or hefty amount to bring allegations against Sambad Group. The Pro-Pandian group members are reportedly targeting those former employees, who are currently working at ‘Sakala’ newspaper, to speak against their earstwhile employer.
With relentless efforts by the politician said to be very influential in the corridors of power, a false case was lodged at the EOW of Odisha Crime Branch by using a former employee of Sambad namely Asim Mohapatra. Based on allegations, the EOW sleuths raided Sambad Bhawan and grilled the head of HRD. To make the case stronger against Patnaik, the efforts are on to arrange more complainants using both money and coercion. The potential complainants are being lured with jobs in TV channels, newspapers and other perks.
Since September 18, a day before Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, the anti-Sambad operation is underway by the parallel government. The former employees of the news organisation who agree with the proposal of the BJD politician are being escorted to the EOW office to file complaints against Patnaik on the orders of the bossman. They are forced to make statement against ‘Sambad’ on a particular news channel, backed by the ruling party. Even, one employee, who has recently retired from service in Sambad, made a ‘false’ statement that he was sacked from the organisation. It is quite evident that the person was pressurised to make such statements on television.
Similarly, a former employee Purna Chandra Deo filed a case with the EOW on similar lines. The persons allegations came under the cloud of suspicion after a photograph featuring Deo from Jajpur district and BJD’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das went viral on social media platforms. This clearly shows the conspiracy by the unscrupulous persons calling the shots, their aides and entire system against Sambad to tarnish image of the leading media conglomerate.
Meanwhile, the supports poured in galore in favour of Sambad and its Editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik. Against the government’s atrocity, the readers stood with the newspaper and hit the streets. Even the leaders cutting across the party lines have condemned the government for such act against Sambad.