KOLKATA: A day after the Mamata Banerjee Government stuck to its stand to bar some leading newspapers from its public libraries, it withdrew the ban on five dailies, one of which is a closed paper.
The five approved dailies include The Times of India, Aajkal and a Nepali paper.
However, the ban will stay for other newspapers like The Telegraph, Ananda Bazar Patrika and Hindustan Times in state-run and stateaided libraries.
The Left Front continued its agitation against the TMC-led Government’s ‘autocratic’ move. They staged a walk-out in the State Assembly on Thursday and met Governor M K Narayanan.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the Governor protesting against the undemocratic disposal of power, the Library Department’s directive on the newspapers to be kept in the public libraries and the poor law and order situation, especially the incidents of attack on women,” said Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra.
The State Library Services Department had issued a circular on March 14 to 2,500 libraries barring purchase of “papers published or purported to be published by a political party”.
The circular further stated, “It is felt that the newspapers/ dailies as named in the table will besides promoting language, particularly among the rural masses, significantly contribute to the development and spread of free thinking among the members.” Even though Library Services Minister Abdul Karim Chowdhury had said that the decision had the blessing of Mamata, the Chief Minister’s Office clarified that the decision had been taken by the Library Department.