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Journos threaten to boycott Maharashtra CM, home minister

india Updated: Jun 30, 2011 17:05 IST

In an effort to build up pressure on the Maharashtra government to hand over the Jyotirmoy Dey murder case to the CBI, Mumbai media is contemplating a boycott of all functions and briefings by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and home minister RR Patil, an official said Thursday.

Mumbai Press Club president Gurbir Singh said Chavan not only turned down the demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into Mid Day journalist Dey's killing, but also failed to push through a law for the protection of journalists which he had promised.

"Reports emerging from the cabinet meeting held yesterday said that both ruling NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) and Congress ministers opposed the law for security of journalists and instead demanded a state level body where ministers and others can lodge complaints against journalists!" Singh said here in a tough statement.

Accordingly, the Mumbai media will consider a boycott of all functions and briefings by both Chavan and Patil, the details of which are being worked out and a final decision would be announced soon, the statement added.

Referring to the reports of three suspects who had been detained Wednesday in connection with the murder, Singh said that the police also leaked a theory that absconding mafia don Chhota Shakeel's men had carried out the killing.

Besides, he said that the name of a sandalwood smuggler was also mentioned as the probable conspirator.

"By Thursday morning, all these theories had evaporated, the police was forced to release the suspects for want of evidence. Even Chhota Shakeel, speaking from his den, denied he had anything to do with the execution," Singh added.

Meanwhile, top editors and heads of television channels will meet in Mumbai on Saturday to discuss the issue.

The meeting will be followed by representations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram.

Earlier, the Mumbai Press Club, on behalf of various media organisations, joined as an intervener in a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court.

The court clubbed and admitted three PILs seeking a CBI probe into Dey's killing.

A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More directed the police to submit its status report by June 21.