Bhubaneswar: Journalists Wednesday staged a protest in Odisha against the arrest of a fellow scribe on charges of outraging the religious feelings of Muslims.
Wearing black bands on their wrists and mouths, around 100 journalists under the banner of Media Unity for Freedom of Press, a forum fighting for the rights of journalists, staged a silent demonstration here demanding the immediate release of journalist Jitendra Prasad Das.
Das, a sub-editor, was arrested over the publication of a photograph along with a small news item on Prophet Mohammed’s birthday in Tuesday’s edition of the Samaja, one of the highest circulating Odia dailies.
He was arrested after Muslims held demonstrations at the newspaper’s head office in Cuttack as well as in branch offices in other places.
Cuttack Deputy Commissioner of Police S. Pravin Kumar told IANS that Das allegedly used an “objectionable picture” after uploading it from the internet. He has been arrested for outraging religious feelings.
But the protesting journalists said they were surprised that police arrested the sub-editor when the editor and publisher of a newspaper are responsible for all the published content.
“It is ridiculous to implicate a junior staff for the offence. We want the immediate release and reinstatement of Das with proper compensation in his current position,” journalist Prasanta Patnaik said.