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Fake press cards for Rs 500!
October 10, 2007 11:40 IST
Believe it or not but this was taking place around colleges in Kolkata, where posters had been put up stating that on procurement of enrolment forms for Rs 500, press cards for freelance journalists for a 'yet to be published' magazine 'India TV News' and 'yet to be aired' television channel 'Suvidha' would be issued.
Arun Kumar Lunia alias Arun Jain, flashed his 'Press' card with the words 'Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India, and Press Information Bureau, Licensing Branch, Kolkata' written in the front and behind the card.
The card also showed 'Life Time' validity printed on it.
When confronted, Lunia claimed that he had supporting documents.
Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told UNI, "This is an absolute fraud and we will proceed against the offender."
Upon verification with the Press Information Bureau, a spokesperson told UNI that it had no licensing branch or had no authority to issue any press card.
A member of the West Bengal Press Card Accreditation Committee also confirmed that no house card can have either I&B Ministry or PIB's name, other than the one issued for PIB journalists.
Moreover, press cards can only be issued by the West Bengal government in this state and that too after the reporter has had three years' experience of reporting and comes from a bonafide publication house/TV-radio channel. The card is valid for a year and has to be renewed after that.
One such poster was put up at a reputed missionary college in South Kolkata and money was being collected by a student coordinating for Lunia.