Jammu: Journalists on Monday boycotted House
proceedings and sat on a dharna outside the Jammu and Kashmir
Assembly complex in protest of Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone`s
comment that the "media was under his control".
The remark came after Health Minister Shyam Lal Sharma,
in the Assembly, raised the issue of a story carried by a
local newspaper against him and his department, and sought
action against the newspaper.
Appealing to the Speaker to seek an explanation from the
newspaper, Sharma alleged that a section of media was carrying
out a vilification campaign against state ministers.
Sharma was backed by PHE and Irrigation Minister Taj
Mohideen, who said that serious allegations have been made
against some ministers.
The Speaker said that he would announce his ruling over
the issue and give direction to the media.
When PDP MLA Nizam-uddin Bhat pointed that the matter
cannot be decided in Assembly and it should be taken up with
the Press Council of India, Lone said that "media is under his
control and they will have to reveal their sources".
"Media is under control of this House," the Speaker said.
Protesting against this comment the mediamen walked out
of the press gallery and boycotted the proceedings. They sat
on dharna outside the Assembly complex in protest against the
The journalists demanded that Lone`s statement be
expunged from proceedings. They said that the freedom of press
cannot be undermined by the Speaker.
The Assembly proceedings continued without presence of
media, who decided to continue the boycott tomorrow.