Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Friday threatened to take action against a section of the media for allegedly spreading "fake news" about the coronavirus situation in the state.
This comes a day after the Tripura High Court sought reports from the state government over its alleged mismanagement in the current COVID situation within a week or before September 18.
During the foundation laying ceremony of the Special Economic Zone at Sabroom, Deb said that some newspapers are publishing "confusing news" related to COVID-19 medical management and that he would not "forgive them".
"Neither history will forgive them nor will I forgive them. These media houses and newspapers are spreading fake news and scaring people," he said.
The chief minister's remarks came after his administration drew heavy criticism for its management of the coronavirus crisis.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal also attended the ceremony via video conference.
The statement made by the CM has been condemned by journalists in Tripura saying there is a "direct threat to freedom of press".
The chairman of Forum for Protection of Media and Journalists, while calling for a meeting of journalists in Agartala, also condemned the CM's statement saying this has led them to "a deep sense of insecurity."
"In the past, newspapers and journalists working in Tripura had a confrontation with the government but for the past two years, the state has tried to turn the media into a slave. With several notices and orders, the freedom of press has been infringed upon. Social media has been used to malign journalists and the Chief Minister's Office has been involved," the chairman said.
"The government and the ruling party, often trying to threaten the media, and now the Chief Minister in a public rally has threatened us. This has led us to a deep sense of insecurity. We did not experience such an environment of insecurity even during days of Emergency. Thus we have called for an urgent meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation," he added.