AGARTALA: A Tripura journalists' body on Sunday took umbrage over Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb's recent comment to "not forgive" newspapers creating confusion" about the COVID-19 situation in the state, giving the BJP leader "three days" to take back his remark.
Deb's media advisor Sanjoy Kumar Mishra, however, said his comments were taken out of context and distorted.
The CM, while laying the foundation stone for the first special economic zone at Sabroom in South Tripura district on Friday, had said, "Some newspapers are trying to confuse people, getting over excited. History will not forgive them, people of Tripura will not forgive them and I, Biplab Deb, will not forgive them."
"I do whatever I say, history is testimony to that."
The speech, which went viral on media, quickly drew the ire of scribes, who held a meeting on Sunday under the aegis of Tripura Assembly of Journalists and decried Deb's comments.
"We condemn the undemocratic and unconstitutional comments from the chief minister. We hope he will withdraw his remark within the next three days," Chairperson Subal Kumar Dey said.
Dey also claimed that journalists are facing threats and being assaulted in different parts of Tripura following Deb's statement.
"Two journalists have been assaulted in the last 24 hours. We are deeply anxious and have decided to approach Governor R K Bais, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Editors Guild of India," he said.
Dey, who is also the president of Agartala Press Club, alleged that the ruling BJP is issuing regular threats to media organisations.
"The state is trying to enslave media persons.
State government orders are issued to choke journalists' voices," he said.
Mishra, in defence of the chief minister, said the Tripura government is committed to the freedom of the press.
"We have always tried to help the media, but a few local newspapers are trying to work with some agenda and that's not right," he said.
Meanwhile, police said a scribe associated with a local daily was attacked by a group of people after midnight.
The journalist had criticised Deb in a social media post for his comments.