Wants to know who provided info to media
BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent
Pune: Pune’s divisional commissioner, IAS officer Prabhakar Deshmukh, who has allegedly amassed huge properties by twisting rules and laws to benefit himself and his family has found a new way to silence the media which has been exposing his wrongdoings.
The commissioner who happens to be the most senior bureaucrat of western Maharashtra has allegedly got call data records of all those media persons who have written against him and also of TV journalists to find out who they have been speaking to for getting info from the Govt. offices.
“The commissioner using his discretionary powers has obtained call data records of journalists, government officials and RTI activists to find the source of the stories that have been appearing about his wealth,” said a source on condition of anonymity.
Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister and NCP strongman Ajit Pawar blew the lid when in a Press conference at the divisional commissioner’s office last week disclosed that he has been getting calls from tehsildars and Govt. officials complaining that their calls are being tracked.
“This is a very serious matter,” Pawar admitted. However he has almost given a clean chit to the official even before conducting an enquiry.
Social activists have condemned the snooping incident and warned that if Govt. doesn’t take action it would be disastrous. “Every officer would resort to such tactics to make sure that any wrongdoing is not reporter,” said Mr. Anoop Awasthi, a social activist.
Another activist said they will take up the matter by filing a public interest litigation in the court.
The president of the Association of Electronic Media (AEM), Pune and senior journalist with NDTV, Imtiaz Jaleel, also expressed his shock and anguish over the snooping of media persons.
“They are simply doing their job. If the officer feels that he has not done anything wrong then he should come out and face the media. But by getting call record details to know who spoke to whom and who was the source of the stories is not only an illegal act but could be detrimental to the freedom of the Press.” AEM intends to take up the matter with the chief minister.
Read details about Deshmukh’s wealth here: