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Let GoI order CBI probe to know why Early Times is on J&K govt's 'hit list'
'We have nothing to hide'
11/19/2018 12:12:02 AM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Nov 18: After Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal withdrew the "general consent" provided to the CBI for conducting raids and probes on Friday Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that "Only those with a lot to hide will take the step of not letting the CBI come to their states. There is no sovereignty of any state in the matter of corruption."
Early Times during all these years has been reiterating the same that "corruption has to be exposed" and the corrupt elements need to be shown their right place.
After Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal chief ministers Chandra Babu Naidu and Mamta Banerjee withdrew the consent to the CBI their critics alleged that both the Chief Ministers don't want the CBI to open the Pandora's box in their state.
The Union minister claimed that Andhra Pradesh's move was not motivated by any particular instance, but "by the fear of what is likely to happen". "We have a federal structure in India, and under that federal structure, the CBI was created initially for central employees and then, to investigate very serious cases in the states, which were referred to it either by the states or courts."
For taking a stand against the corrupt elements and not becoming the spokesperson of the powerful people, Early Times has been at the receiving end for past more than a decade. From 2008 to 2014 coalition led by National Conference scuttled the Early Times then the PDP led coalition left no stone unturned to crush your newspaper.
First it was Omar Abdullah led government which directed the state run Information department not to send any advertisements to Early Times and the department followed the diktat of the NC-Cong government till Press Council of India intervened and got the government advertisements released. But the officials of the Information department just used to send a few centimeters to ensure that their political bosses remain happy. They didn't cross the line till NC-Congress rule continued in the state. During Omar Abdullah's tenure Information department blocked government advertisements to us for nearly 14 months.
When PDP-BJP coalition came into power in 2015, it intimidated the ET management to toe the line of the government and not to highlight the shortcomings of the people at the helm. The PDP president and then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had even told the ET management in clear terms that the newspaper should stop highlighting the issues which pertain to the discrimination with Jammu region. But we refused to surrender and during the PDP-BJP rule ET just used to get a few hundred centimeters of government advertisements every month.
Early Times since its inception has been highlighting the practices which have proved detrimental for the system and it has become "eyesore" for corrupt elements. The state run-Information department, which distributes the government advertisements among the local dailies, too has played into the hands of people who wanted Early Times to toe the official line. The department has ensured that Early Times just gets peanuts on the name of advertisements.
We at Early Times urge the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to order a CBI probe to look into the injustice which has been done with us. To begin with the CBI could probe the credentials of the Early Times. It's one of the largest circulated dailies in Jammu and Kashmir having its own office in heart of the Jammu city and has its own printing press. There are more than 140 people associated with the Early Times who are spread across the state. CBI could verify the veracity of our claim. We have nothing to hide and CBI probe could reveal it all.
On the other hand CBI could probe what's happening within the Information department, which had to play a role of acting as a bridge between the government and the local media. The CBI should probe why the department has become a toll in the hands of a few people and whom are the government officials appeasing. Are they still serving their old political bosses, and are carrying forward their policy of vendetta?
The freedom of speech is the fundamental right and it cannot be snatched from anyone. Early Times has always stood by the truth and has always sided with the people that has led to ET becoming voice of the people. Whosoever has come into power till date has tried to control ET by choking the government advertisements and by targeting the allied businesses which are owned by the Early Times group.
In Jammu and Kashmir CBI has not to seek any permission from the state government to carry out any probe. The union government can take the cognizance of the matter and ask the CBI to carry out a probe to bring the truth to fore.
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