Bijapur scribes plan bike rally into forests to protest Maoist’s threat

RAIPUR: Two days after suspected Maoists left posters threatening forest minister and journalists, the Bijapur Press Club members have announced to take out a three-day long bike rally of 247 kilometres in deep forest from November 24. The journalists were threatened of dire consequences in case they misrepresented facts during coverage of encounters. Protesting against the rebel’s diktat scribes have decided for a bike rally.
The president of Bijapur Press Club Ganesh Mishra said that nearly 100 journalists from several districts and about 226 members of press club would go out on bike rally from November 24 in worst affected Maoists zones. “Maoists have already killed two journalists of Bijapur in the past including Sai Reddy and Nemichand Jain and they had also sought forgiveness in few of their letters and pamphlets. Now, the latest poster recovered from tehsildar’s office in Usur, Awapalli has threatened scribes of being killed if they misreport events of encounters. Though the authenticity of posters was being ascertained, yet the threats have raised concerns among us,” Mishra said.
Citing reason for going deep in forests, Mishra said, “We hope to meet senior Maoist leader of central committee during the bike rally and would open talks to know the reason for such threats and why were they targeting us. This will also authenticate if the posters were dropped off by the rebels else we would ask them to condemn the contents mentioned in poster.”
Scribes want to know what kind of reporting was troubling the rebels.
Local journalists in Bijapur said that in a recent meeting with rebels of company commander ranks, they talked about the communication gap being developed between journalists and Maoists lately across Bastar. The rebels expressed interest to sit and find a way out to fill the gap. The route designed for bike rally would be from Bijapur to Basaguda via Cherla for three days which would include stoppage like Pujarikanker, Dharmaram and Kondapalli.

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