Journalists, security personnel fracas in Jharkhand Assembly

There was a scuffle between the journalists and security personnel in the premises of the Jharkhand Assembly on Monday ahead of the special session in which Chief Minister Hemant Soren tabled a confidence motion.

The journalists were stopped at the door to the Assembly hall when they tried to forcefully enter it and were pushed back by the security personnel.

A section of the journalists and photo journalists said they were not allowed to enter the Assembly despite having the required passes.

A senior official of the Assembly denied the allegations and said that those with valid passes did not face any trouble in entering the House.

“We allowed journalists with previous session’s passes. Access rules are specifically mentioned in the passes,” he said when contacted.

Jharkhand Assembly did not issue any pass for journalists for the special session on Monday. The security personnel allowed entry to those who carried passes of the monsoon session.

The scribes on the other hand said there was no notice by the Assembly on the passes.

In the monsoon session three kinds of passes – white for photo journalists, pink and green passes for journalists were issued.

Many of them had reached the Assembly House, which is located about 10 km away from main city, with their white and pink passes. The white pass holders were asked to stay outside, while pink pass holders were allowed inside but were not given access to the main press gallery. Instead they were asked to watch the House activity in the press room on television.

The green pass holders were provided access to the main press gallery on condition that they do not carry mobile phones or any kind of bags.

Later, BJP chief whip Biranchi Narayan said, “We strongly condemn the scuffle between the journalists and security personnel in the Assembly campus. The government wanted to hide the House activities from the media. Therefore the media persons who were given access to press gallery, were not allowed to carry mobile phones.” Narayan claimed that the MLAs of the ruling UPA were brought in a bus and entered the premises through the gate used by the chief minister instead of the gate number two which is usually used by the lawmakers.

“This was an act to hide MLAs from the journalists’ eyes,” he said.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren, facing uncertainty over his continuance in office after a BJP petition seeking his disqualification as an MLA in an office-of-profit case, Monday tabled a confidence motion in the Jharkhand Assembly, which passed it. A total 48 MLAs of the 81-member House voted in favour of the motion amid a walkout staged by BJP legislators. 

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