Biplab Kumar Deb on Wednesday had tweeted: “Blatant misuse of state power against Arnab Goswami is a direct attack on free speech and democracy. It gives us reminiscence of the Emergency by Congress and its allies. This must be condemned in loudest voice.”
It was evident that Deb’s tweet was part of a larger nationwide campaign by the BJP to mount immediate pressure on the Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra against Arnab Goswami’s arrest.
Blatant misuse of state power against Arnab Goswami is a direct attack on free speech and democracy.
It gives us a reminiscence of the Emergency by Congress and its allies. This must be condemned in loudest voice.
— Biplab Kumar Deb (@BjpBiplab) November 4, 2020
Almost every union minister, including Home minister Amit Shah and chief ministers of all BJP-ruled states tweeted in protest, and described it as an direct attack on the freedom of press and expression.
Probably, Biplab Kumar Deb did not expect that the media fraternity in Tripura would react on his Twitter campaign for Arnab Goswami.
Journalists’ organisations in Agartala on Thursday accused the Tripura chief minister of being “aggressive to gag the media” in his own state.
The journalists said Deb had openly warned media on September 11 in a public function, after which as many as nine working journalists were attacked in Tripura.
Deb had accused a section of media of being over enthusiastic in covering mismanagement of COVID19 in Tripura and threatened: “History shall not forgive them, and people of Tripura will not forgive them. I will not forgive them. History stands witness to the fact that I Biplab Deb, do what I say.”
Unfortunately, neither chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb nor his government had condemned the attacks on the journalists of Tripura. No arrests were made in connection with the cases of attack on journalists.
Members of Assembly of Journalists (AoJ), the apex body of media workers of Tripura, even staged protest demanding withdrawal of the “derogatory statements” of chief minister.
But, Biplab Kumar Deb did not respond to the protests by journalist organisations. So, his sudden reaction to Arnab Goswami’s arrest has infuriated the media fraternity in Tripura.
The media fraternity threatened to continue with their agitation to guarantee freedom of press and safety of the working journalists in Tripura.