Jagi Mangat Panda, wife of Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda who owns the leading Odia TV news channel OTV, has alleged that the Biju Janata Dal government in Odisha has been targeting and harassing her family, and employees of the OTV ever since Jay Panda exposed BJD’s corruption.
She alleged that OTV employees are being compelled to resign in custody.
“Recent harassment against us included the arrest of five employees, of which two were intimidated and compelled to resign while in custody,” Jagi Mangat said.
Targeting the BJD government she said, “It is no secret that ever since my husband Jay Panda started speaking out about the BJD’s widespread corruption five years ago, and thereafter joined the BJP, the Odisha government and BJD have been targeting and harassing our family members and organisations and entities connected with us.”
She also alleged that the Odisha police has registered about 20 false cases against OTV in the past two months at the behest of CM Naveen Patnaik who holds a vendetta against Jay Panda.
“We assert that these cases are being orchestrated by the 21-year-old BJD government in Odisha, because of CM Naveen Patnaik’s personal vendetta against us,” she said.
The channel has been at loggerheads with the Naveen Patnaik government since Jay Panda had a bitter fallout with the BJD boss.
In the past few months, many senior OTV staffers have been summoned and arrested by Odisha police. “We have been cooperating with the authorities and a large number of our employees have been going to the police station for interrogation… despite which the harassment continues,” Jagi Mangat said.