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RJD takes potshots at Nitish Govt. over Katju's press freedom remarks.

Patna, Feb 27 ( ANI ): Taking a dig at the Nitish Kumar Government in Bihar over Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Justice (retired) Markandey Katju's recent statement that the press did not enjoy freedom in the state, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Monday said the state government is trying to erode democratic values by imposing restrictions on people.

""This government is against the freedom of the press and by imposing restrictions on it, the government merely wants that the media should promote the government. The government is trying to impose restrictions on the power of the people who belong to print media, and we will oppose this move," Bhai Bindera, a RJD legislator.

" Curtailing the powers of the press means a threat to the democratic system. The threat posed to the democratic system would lead to the disintegration of the nation, and a question mark would be put on the freedom and that is why we would oppose it tooth and nail," he added.

Meanwhile, another RJD legislator Akhtarul Imam echoing similar sentiments, accused the Nitish Kumar Government of blackmailing the media houses.

"In the entire state of Bihar, since the time, five to seven years ago, when the government of Nitish and Modi (Gujarat Chief Minister Narender Modi) has come to power, they have tried to suppress various issues related to public interest and the biggest issue is related to snatching away the freedom of the press," said Imam.

"They try to influence the media and prevent them from unravelling the truth," he added.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had also endorsed Justice Katju's statement earlier and said that there was an acute lack of media freedom in Bihar.

"The state government of Bihar has gagged the press and suppressed the voices of mediapersons. Justice Katju's observations are completely true and valid. It is a factually correct finding. He has even setup a commission to look into the matter," Yadav told the media in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr city on Saturday.

"The government of Bihar is trying to humiliate Justice Katju for his expose. We will do anything to ensure the freedom of the press. Justice Katju has done the right thing by bringing out the truth," he added.

After slamming Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan over attacks on journalists in the state, Justice Katju had on Friday targeted the Bihar Government alleging the media in the state was harassed if it wrote against the government. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Feb 27, 2012
Words:423
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