DPC flays mistreatment of journalists at counting centre

DPC flays mistreatment of journalists at counting centre
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Dimapur, March 3: The Dimapur Press Club (DPC) has expressed displeasure at the “unprofessional and insolent treatment” meted out to press and media personnel by officials at the vote-counting centre in the Dimapur deputy commissioner’s office complex on March 3.
“The media fraternity of the district wishes to make clear its utter disgust at the poor behaviour and an even poorer grace shown by some of the election personnel who imposed unnecessary restrictions on journalists covering the event,” said a DPC release.
The DPC reminded the “powers-may-be” that the journalists assigned to cover the process were duly authorized for entry by the Election Commission of India (ECI) itself, and that the pass issued to the media persons by the ECI permitted access and entry /re-entry into the counting centres.
“Yet, the media personnel were restricted entry by those manning the entry points,” it said.
The club said after much protest and reasoning, and subsequently having it brought to the notice of Dimapur district election officer that the journalists were allowed entry – that too under the watchful eyes of a “dobashi” and with the restriction to visit each counting centre only once for a ‘few minutes and to be led out.’
Personnel from the electronic media were also denied entry into the vote counting centre even though they had authorization issued by the ECI.
The DPC further expressed dismay at some of the officials outside the counting centres who went so far as to caution the media persons from moving in and out ‘repeatedly.’ It pointed out that media persons have to ‘move in and out’ to fulfil their assignments by being in constant communication with their respective media organisation and editorial desks at least through mobile phones, which were also prohibited inside the area.
The club said it has noted with concern the district electoral officer’s establishment and its subordinates for curtailing the rights of the press, which it termed is actually denial of information to the public.
(Page News Service)