Media continues boycott of Assembly proceedings

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Jammu: Media fraternity continued boycott of proceedings of Legislative Assembly for the second consecutive day on Tuesday in protest against Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone’s remarks that media was under his control.
As soon as the proceedings of the House began this morning, journalists both from print and electronic media, assembled outside the Assembly complex here and sat on dharna demanding the Speaker to expunge his remarks.
The Speaker’s remarks had come on Monday after Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma raised the issue of a news item appearing in a newspaper against his department.
Meanwhile, Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Davender Singh Rana and MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami approached the media persons and appealed them to end the boycott. However, the media persons rejected the appeal.
Later Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Mohammad Sagar and Panthers Party MLA, Harsh Dev Singh also approached the media persons to motivate them to end the boycott. They told the media persons that the Speaker was ready to solve the issue. However, it too didn’t yield any results.
Later Rana, Mubarak Gul, Director Information, Kh Farooq Renzu and Secretary Assembly, Mohammad Ramzan approached the media persons telling them that Speaker wants to meet them at 2 PM. However, immediately Farooq Renzu came back and told the media that Speaker wasn’t available for the meeting at 2 PM.
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party had also moved adjournment motion on Monday to suspend routine business and discuss the issue with the Speaker, who rejected it.
“We are with you and we have also boycotted the Assembly session for today,” MLA Nizam-ud-Din Bhat, told reporters.
He, however, said the next course of action would be decided by the party in the evening.
Sources told KNS that Speaker’s Monday remarks have been brought into the notice of Press Council of India Chairman, Justice (R) Katju by the media persons.
Meanwhile, journalists have decided to continue their boycott till the remarks of the Speaker are not expunged from the official records and assurance is given that the government will not try to gag the voice of the press.

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