File photograph: Pijush Hazarika

The Gauhati Press Club on April 1 expressed serious concern over the alleged threatening of a television journalist by Assam minister Pijush Hazarika for airing a story.

Hazarika, who is contesting the Assam assembly elections from the Jagiroad seat as a BJP candidate, was allegedly heard in an audio clip intimidating a television journalist over phone for airing a news report.

The Gauhati Press Club slammed the minister and said that his actions were “highly condemnable and cannot be condoned at any cost”.

In a statement released by Gauhati Press Club president Manoj Kumar Nath and general secretary Sanjoy Ray, the journalists’ organization said that it is very unbecoming of a public representative to threaten a journalist of dire consequences, no matter what. “At a time when the protection of journalists has become a cause of concern, such an uncalled-for attitude by a public representative comes as a shocker,” the statement said.

“If he (Pijush Hazarika) had any complaint related to the content or authenticity of any news report, he could have approached the appropriate authorities for redressal. Such a ‘power-drunk’ attitude on the part of Mr Hazarika has taken politicking to a new low and appropriate action should be taken against the minister by the Election Commission after verifying the authenticity of the audio clip that had gone viral in the social media,” the journalists’ organization added.

“We also demand that the safety and security of the journalists concerned should also be ensured by the Election Commission and the state government,” the Gauhati Press Club said.

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