The decision was taken in a meeting held at Press Club Jammu after the Speaker retracted from his reconciliatory overture to end the stalemate by holding a meeting with media at his Chamber at 2.00 PM.
Earlier the invitation to media to end the impasse was conveyed by both the Political Advisors to the Chief Minister Devender Rana and Mubarak Gul accompanied by Secretary Legislative Assembly on behalf of the state legislature. However the reconciliatory gesture from the government fizzled out as they failed to keep their commitment.
As per the fresh decision, the media persons will assemble outside the legislature complex at 10.00 AM tomorrow to resume their protest and after staging a token sit-in dharna there for half an hour and later will hold a march towards Press Club of Jammu to chalk out further strategy.
The fraternity is boycotting the proceedings in support of its demand for withdrawal of controversial remarks by the Speaker made on the floor of the House challenging constitutional right of media on February 27, 2012. The Speaker had said, “Media is under my control, they will have to reveal their sources.”
The statement is not only violative of Supreme Court directive but is being seen as a direct and brazen assault on freedom of press.
In the meanwhile, the fraternity also decided not to entertain even Information matter vis à-vis Legislature proceedings till their demand was conceded.
The representatives of protesting media stated that they were not for uncalled for confrontation between two vital pillars of democracy i.e., legislature and the fourth estate and had all respect for the constitutional authority of the Chair. They said that the Speaker is the facilitator of the coverage of proceedings which they have always
appreciated and respected.
However at the same time no compromise could be made vis-à-vis freedom of press and the fraternity would continue to fight against all attempts to gag media.
Given the importance of issue, it was also decided to rope in influential media organizations across the country besides approaching Press Council of India against any attempt impinging on the freedom of the fourth estate.
The unanimous decision was to sustain campaign till its logical end.
In a related development, the main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party boycotted the assembly proceedings. Several other organizations have also extended their full support to the media fraternity in this context.
Till late evening there was no headway on this account.