Riyaz ul Khaliq
Jammu: Leader of the opposition, Omar Abdullah, on Friday asked the deputy speaker not to be so harsh on reporters covering the proceedings of the house after Nazir Gurezi asked them to not use mobile phones.
Raising a point of information, Omar seconded the concern raised by NC’s Jammu head, Devender Singh Rana, that journalists in the house be allowed to work smoothly.
Gurezi, taking serious note of use of mobile phones, had directed some officials to snatch mobile phone from a Journalist pointed out by the deputy speaker.
“Don’t use the mobile phones otherwise I won’t allow you with phones in the house,” Gurezi said addressing press gallery.
A minute later, most probably after “protest-messages” from journalists, Rana stood up and told the house time had changed for media. On this, Omar took the opportunity and asked Rana to sit and instead spoke himself.
“Times have changed,” Omar told Gurezi, his party colleague from land-locked Gurez valley where cell phones do not work properly and is no-internet zone yet.
“Journalists are using phones for live streaming and other online media,” he informed the house. “You can’t be so harsh,” Gurezi was told by the former chief minister.
“If they don’t work, members of this house will be started complaining that their proceedings are not being covered,” he added.
This invited Omar massive table thumbing by the reporters for at least 40 seconds. He in response shared a smile.
“I have only banned using phone by reporters for voice calls,” Gurezi clarified.
Riyaz ul Khaliq