In Raipur media,running story is about a Friendship Day party

In the last two days,a Friendship Day party has taken up a lot of media space in Raipur

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur | Published:August 7, 2013 12:17 am

In the last two days,a Friendship Day party has taken up a lot of media space in Raipur. Prominent newspapers and channels claim that the party,held in a hotel on Sunday night,was “vulgar” and involved drugs. Raipur city SP Manisha Thakur,however,says they recovered only beer bottles; the hotel has a bar licence and the probe would be only whether it had the permission to serve liquor outside the bar.

The media has now accused the police of being “afraid to act” and linked the party organiser with Chief Minister Raman Singh. The media campaign has got the support of both the Bajrang Dal and the Congress.

Incidentally,the police and Bajrang Dal activists had reached the spot to conduct the raid after journalists alerted them. Sahara Samay ran a ticker saying,“Media ki soochna par police ki raid” (A media alert led to the police raid). As the police conducted the raid,the ticker went,“Sahara ki khabar ka asar”.

A few journalists had been issued invitation passes to the party. They later alerted the police. Some journalists who had attended the party said one of them had a quarrel with someone from the organising team,and he called the police and fellow cameramen. Newspaper reports confirm the quarrel took place but don’t mention that this was what led to journalists calling the police.

Newspapers and channels carried visuals and photographs of youths dancing. Haribhoomi and Dainik Bhaskar had these on the front page,Patrika inside on Monday. On Tuesday,Patrika had a report each on the front page and inside. Haribhoomi wrote on Monday,“Naked dance once again on Friendship Day party at a VIP Road hotel”. Patrika wrote,“The capital was left ashamed by a vulgar and drug party… as news about the police raid spread,youths ran away leaving their shoes behind”. And on Tuesday,it wrote: “Ashil party par lipa-poti. Police did not write a report,did not arrest anyone,did not show the recovery of intoxicating tablets.”

Nai Duniya on Monday had a relatively subdued report on an inside page,but on Tuesday it gave the event three-quarters of a page,again inside,with pictures of youths. It said,“Karvayi karne men kaanpe police ke haath (police afraid to take action)”.

Patrika also gave details of the “violations” in a boxed item on Tuesday — “(a) The organisers had permission to use loudspeakers only up to 10 pm,but the DJ continued until 11 pm, (b) The party was scheduled to end at 10.30 pm,but it continued until 11.30 pm,(c) Drinks were not allowed,but still provided.”

Another Ranchi newspaper reported that “not only men,even women had drinks”.

On Monday,the Congress spokesperson issued a statement — “Hindu sanskriti ki duhayi dene walon ke raaj men ashlil party” (a vulgar party held in the rule of those who take oath over Hindu culture)”.

Congress Mahila Morcha members heckled party organiser Mahua Majumdar on Monday when she visited the building that houses the collector’s and the SP’s offices,and smeared her face with lipstick. She later registered a police complaint. Her photographs were splashed all over Tuesday’s newspapers. “Women Congress members humiliated her before the crowd. Police remained mute spectators. Finally,she managed to free herself and left,” Dainik Bhaskar reported. Patrika today has a story linking Majumdar with Chief Minister Singh and saying that is why she remains scot-free.

Police have issued notices to the hotel management and the organisers. Raipur SP OP Paul has advised caution and said vulgarity is subjective,while officers add they are not the agency to enforce morality.

Last August,the Raipur media ran a campaign for over a month after a city hotel had organised a “rain dance” party. TV channels and newspapers carried full-page “photo features” and visuals of partying youths for weeks. Channels provided footage to the police and a few youths were arrested. Among the police seizures was a T-shirt one of the youths had worn — it had some “objectionable words” printed on it.

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