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Disregarding Assamese journalist Parag Kumar Das

On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 7:30 PM, NJ Thakuria <> wrote:

We on behalf of media fraternity of Assam would like to express our resentment regarding the use of a photograph of Assam's best known journalist Parag Kumar Das in place of ULFA (Independent) leader Paresh Barua in your acclaimed newspaper.

The news is related to a Bangladesh's court's conviction regarding a ten years old case of arms haul in Chittagong where the ULFA leader is also convicted and pronounced death sentence. The news came from Dhaka on January 30 afternoon and immediately got huge media space in India. But to utter dismay, you have posted a photograph of Parag Kumar Das as of the convicted ULFA leader. The incident was painful not only to the family of Parag Kumar Das, but also for the media fraternity of Assam.

For your kind information, Parag Kumar Das was a senior journalist, executive editor of widely circulated Assamese daily Asomiya Pratidin and also a human rights activist, who was murdered in Guwahati on May 17, 1996. The perpetrators, suspected to be influenced by government agencies, as he was very critical to various policies of New Delhi in North East India, are still not been convicted. Some of the accused persons were already eliminated by the security personnel. Even the CBI, which investigated the case in later part, even issued charge sheets against some accused persons. We still are waiting for the justice for Parag Kumar Das's assassination.

The question arises here why many so-called national media outlets have made the mistake and tried to defame the journalist. Is it because of the fact that the media persons involved with the metro dailies are not aware of Paresh Barua and Parag Kumar Das? While Paresh Barua is in the media for three decades for ULFA related news and activities, Parag Kumar Das is a popular journalist. Parag Kumar Das was a pioneer human rights activist of our region and his assassination witnessed huge public outcries in Assam.

We suspect, Parag Kumar Das was targeted by the government agencies as he was very critical against some policies adopted by New Delhi. The CBI, which investigated the case in later part, even issued charge sheets to some convicts. But no one has been convicted by the court. Of course, we are still waiting for justice.

Our question to the newspapers, which have published Parag Kumar Das's photo instead of an ULFA leader, is whether they want to divert the public attention from various burning issues that are affecting Assam and northeast India?

We hereby place the issue in front of you for your kind information and necessary actions.


Sanjib Phukan, president, Guwahati Press Club
Prakash Mahanta, secretary, Journalist Action Committee
Nava Thakuria, secretary, Journalists' Forum AssamĀ 

PS: Here is a copy of the letter sent by the family of Parag Kumar Das and also the web links of some media outlets which published his photograph in place of a fugitive ULFA leader.


The President/ Secretary, Guwahati Press Club, Guwahati-781001

Dear Sir,

On behalf of the family members of late Parag Kumar Das, I am very much regretted to express that Parag Kumar Das is literally murdered again today by the National level media, after 18 years of his brutal killing in the street of Guwahati city on broad day light. It is very much unfortunate that his photograph is published with a news item where the news of announcement of death sentence to the ULFA C-in-C Paresh Barua by a Bangladesh court is published with prime importance.

We the family members have great resentments on it and we condemn their effort to malignant his social image.

If the national media can do such senseless act to late Parag Kumar Das, who was a senior journalist and a human rights defender too, what justice they will give to the common people of this part of the country ?

We condemn them with great anguish and on behalf of the family we want them to apologise publicly.

Further, we would like to request you to use your good office to sue against the concern media houses who has tried to malignant the public image of Parag Kumar Das.

With regards,

Pallab Kumar Das
Dated: Guwahati, January 30, 2014
(m) 094350 44140

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