Mumbai: Adopting an aggressive stand,
journalists` organisations here on Saturday demanded resignation of
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil and suspension of Mumbai
Police Commissioner Aroop Patnaik, placing moral
responsibility on both of them for the murder of journalist J
Dey, a senior journalist with Mid-Day, was shot dead this
afternoon by unidentified assailants in suburban Powai.
"On Monday, journalists from Mumbai would take out a
morcha from Patrakar Sangh to Mantralay to press these
demands. They will submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister.
If Patil does not resign on his own, journalists would request
the CM and the Governor to sack him," said Prasad Mokashi,
President, Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, at a meeting here.
Senior journalist Jatin Desai said that J Dey had given a
report to the Home Minister about some police officials who
had links with the underworld, but nothing happened. In the
last few years, 125 journalists had been threatened or in some
cases attacked, in the state, he said.
Mantralay and Vidhi-Mandal Vartahar Sangh`s secretary,
Surendra Gangan, was also present at the meeting.
Journalists across the state should wear a black badge
to register protest, and hold protest rallies outside district
collector`s offices demanding Patil`s resignation and
suspension of Mumbai police commissioner on Monday, it was
decided in the meeting.
Prafull Marpakwar, senior journalist, alleged that the
state of affairs was so bad that the Chief Minister Prithviraj
Chavan was in the dark about the incident even five hours
after Dey was shot.
Earlier, Mokashi alleged that Dey had been exposing the
police-underworld nexus, which might have led to the murder.
Echoing the view, President of Television Journalists`
Association, Shashikant Sandhbor, said that murder proved that
"police-underworld nexus exists in the city".
"We demand that the Home Ministry should conduct a
thorough investigation. Also, it should come up with a report
on the past cases where journalists have been attacked, and
the status of probe," Sandhbor said.
"A proper investigation should be conducted into this
dastardly murder. Crime reporters should be protected," Aniket
Joshi, President, Mantralaya and Vidhi Mandal Varthahar Sangh,
Press Club of Mumbai too said in a statement that the
killing underlined the increasing threat faced by
investigative journalists from powerful political and business
interests who indulged in illegal activities.
Patrakar Halla Virodhi Kruti Samiti (action committee
against attacks on journalists) said that Home Minister Patil
and Mumbai Police Commissioner should resign.