Mr Al Hek’s statement about creating a ‘master plan’ to combat the Polo floods is laughable, if not downright ridiculous. The minister is the prime beneficiary of the encroachment problem, being an encroacher himself while giving assurances and actively encouraging other encroachers. Now he seeks to have his cake and eat it too by sweeping the main issue of encroachment under the carpet by creating other ‘master plans’. This is a classic way of avoiding accountability by diverting attention away from the main issue. Mr Hek seeks to divert public attention from the main issue of encroachment (which is the real problem) by proposing flood control measures in the form of flood gates. No doubt the minister will also seek central funds for this master plan which will inevitably disappear into thin air, just like the river. We would request the CM to seriously look at this issue and find a way of restoring the river to its former glory by taking the matter of encroachment before the Supreme Court if needed. We would also request him not to entrust Mr Hek and his cronies with the sanction to dupe the people one more time with ridiculous ‘master plans’. No wonder the people are crying out for a strong Lokpal bill to keep such corrupt politicians in check before they milk Meghalaya dry.
Your daily published a report (Shillong Jottings, June 27, 2011) claiming that the Shillong media remained “insulated” to the recent unfortunate killing of senior investigative journalist Jyotirmoy Dey by not reacting even with a condolence message to his bereaved family members, when in actuality one-minute of silence was observed as tribute to the slain soul by members during the visit of Mr SN Sinha, President, Indian Journalist Union and senior member of the Press Council of India.
The Shillong Press Club is one of the first press clubs in the country to condemn the incident while extending sincere sympathies to the bereaved family of Late Jyotirmoy Dey by telephone as well as an email to the Secretary of the Mumbai Press Club, Shri Sunil Shivdasani. A print out of the condolence message as well as a demand for early arrest of the killers was put up at the Mumbai Press Club and a copy given to the bereaved family members of Late Dey. That the Shillong Press Club did not wish to blow its trumpet by making it a news item is because the incident, most unfortunate as it was, did not warrant anyone to gain brownie points and hog any limelight.
The reporter is ignorant of the actions taken by the Shillong Press Club in this matter and you as the Editor could have very well verified facts before endorsing a report that clearly intends to malign the image of the Shillong Press Club and the integrity of the media fraternity as a whole. The Shillong Press Club reiterates its commitment to stand by the media fraternity irrespective of anyone who wishes to distance themselves for reasons best known to them. I trust that prudence will prevail and that the malicious and malafide opinion expressed by the reporter is corrected at the earliest.
Shillong Press Club
Our reporter replies: When The Shillong Press Club undertakes any activity especially one that relates to the killing of a member of the fraternity, it is expected that all members be informed that a condolence meeting is being held at its premises. This reporter spoke to many senior journalists and learnt from them that no special condolence meeting was held on behalf of J Dey or a visible protest in our state of Meghalaya so that similar incidents do not befall us here. Since the condolence meeting was held at the sidelines of another meeting and it was not reported in the release given to newspapers there was no way the public or Government here could know that such a gathering was held. Comments about the SPC not showing solidarity with the J Dey killing actually came from members of the public and that’s what Shillong Jottings is all about. There is no malafide intent here.