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Tripura govt responds to PCI over Biplab Deb’s threat to media

AGARTALA: Six months after the Press Council of India (PCI) served a notice on Tripura over chief minister Biplab Kr Deb’s reported open threat to the media, it finally received a response from Tripura’s chief secretary, home secretary and director general of police.

Deb’s threat to the media at a public function in September last year was followed by a rise in incidents against media and journalists in Tripura.

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The PCI had asked the respondents to file a response within two weeks of receiving the notice, allowing the authorities to decide on the next steps. The content of the response was not made public though.

Meanwhile, two PCI teams visited Tripura, hearing media organisations’ grievances against the state government and receiving comprehensive memorandums.

While laying the foundation of a special economic zone (SEZ) in Sabroom, South Tripura, Deb lashed out at a section of the media alleging that they were publishing stories about hospital mismanagement and public sufferings during COVID-19 which were misleading the citizens of the state.

“History will not forgive them (media). The people of Tripura will not forgive them,” he warned. They will not be forgiven. I, Biplab Deb, do as I say,” Deb was quoted as saying. This unprovoked threat sparked outrage among the media, and within hours of the threat, two Journalists were badly beaten up by miscreants taking the number to 23 so far in various parts of the state.

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