Ground Report | New Delhi: In Assam; the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) of Assam has filed a police complaint against an independent news portal ‘The Cross Current‘ urging it to initiate ‘appropriate legal action’ under section 45 of the Information and Technology Act.
The complaint was filed over a video news report raising strong questions on Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, Information/Public Relations Minister Piyush Hazarika and the state DIPR, The Wire Reported.
In Assam: case filed on website
The police on Friday registered a case under section 294A/500/505(2) of the IPC and section 45A of the IT Act. An official of the Dispur police station said, “The complaint came to us on August 6. We registered a case and now we are probing it.”
A now-deleted news clip posted on the Facebook page of Assamese news website The Cross Current on Friday afternoon reportedly questioned the use of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s photographs on several hoardings put up in Guwahati last week – one congratulating Borgohain. and the second on the death anniversary of the first Chief Minister of Assam, Gopinath Bordoloi.
The hoardings had huge pictures of Sarma. In the Borgohain billboard, there was no picture of the boxer at all; It was accompanied by two lines that read “Congratulations and best wishes to Lovlina Borgohain on qualifying for Tokyo Olympics 2020” and “You are the pride of Assam”. In Bordoloi hoardings, the former chief minister’s face was moved to the periphery, with Sarma occupying most of the space. Neither did the name of the department which approved it.
Borgohain’s billboards sparked a controversy on social media, with many users criticizing the government for not showing his picture and using Sarma instead. Another set of hoardings congratulating Borgohain had a picture of Assam’s Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Bimal Bora.
The Cross Current
Assamese news portal ‘The Cross Current’, launched in the year 2019, has been very critical of the ruling BJP in its reporting. Due to some of its recent reports, it is currently on the target of the government.
Now this news portal has again come under target due to one of its reports. In this report, the portal raised questions regarding the excessive use of photographs of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma in posters/hoardings related to the two events. The two events were related to congratulating Olympic medalist boxer Lovlina Borgohain and the death anniversary of Gopinath Bordoloi, the first chief minister of Assam.