Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday asked a city-based news channel to clarify remarks made by its former editor-in-chief that there was pressure from him to resign over the coverage of the molestation of a girl near a pub here.
"There was no pressure from me on News Live's management to make former editor-in-chief Atanu Bhuyan resign. News Live management should clarify the matter," Gogoi told reporters at his chamber in the legislative assembly complex.
Bhuyan had resigned from his post on Tuesday alleging interference from the chief minister. News Live had recorded the first visuals of the molestation case, which rocked the state.
Later in the day, the management of the channel denied that it was pressurised at any point and said that comments made by Bhuyan during the press conference on July 17 while announcing his resignation were his personal views made in his individual capacity.
"The management does not subscribe to any view or comment made by him (Bhuyan) after his resignation where he dragged the name of the chief minister or other external forces apprehending pressure ... The management of the channel clarifies that at no point was it pressurised by the chief minister or the government on the GS Road molestation incident and the happenings thereafter, including the resignation of journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog and the resignation of Atanu Bhuyan as Editor-in-Chief," Caushiq Bezboruah, chief executive officer of Pride Entertainment Pvt Limited, owner of the channel, said in a statement here.
The management has already relieved Bhuyan as one of the directors on the board of the company and his resignation as editor-in-chief has also been accepted.
Bezboruah said the news channel is an independent organisation and the impression that external forces could interfere with the editorial or management policies is "completely unfounded and baseless".