WeForNews | Latest News, Breaking News, News Updates Editors Guild of India Writes To UP CM Over Press Freedom In The State | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

India

Editors Guild of India Writes To UP CM Over Press Freedom In The State

Listing out instances of harassment of journalists in the state, the letter said the Guild was keen to send a team to Lucknow to discuss ways to ensure their safety and well-being

Published

on

Freedom Forge Press

The Editors Guild of India on November 9 sent a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath raising concerns over media freedom and the safety of journalists in the state.

“We are writing to urge you to address vital issues with respect to protecting press freedom and the rights and safety of working journalists, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In the recent past, several incidents have come to fore, which raise deep concerns on the space for free, fearless and independent journalism in Uttar Pradesh,” began the letter, signed by Guild President Seema Mustafa, General Secretary Sanjay Kapoor and Treasurer Anant Nath.

“While you were right to promptly uphold the freedom of the press when an editor of a TV channel was arrested in Mumbai, there are far more compelling cases of intimidation, harassment by authorities of working journalists in UP, who were prevented from doing their job,” it said.

“Many of them have been unjustifiably arrested on spurious charges. We are listing below some such cases:

Siddique Kappan: A Delhi-based journalist who works for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham, accompanied by three others, was on his way to Hathras, to report the gang rape of a dalit girl, when he was picked up in Mathura on October 5, 2020 and later booked under Section 17 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Two others, reportedly associated with Campus Front of India, the students’ wing of Kerala–based Popular Front of India, were charged by the UP police of planting evidence in the form of a pamphlet. Kappan, along with others, is lodged in Mathura jail. According to the police they were part of an internationally-funded “conspiracy” to stoke caste riots in UP in the wake of the Hathras gang rape. On November 4, the Mathura chief judicial magistrate granted 48-hour police remand to the UP Special Task Force for questioning. He still remains in jail and his family hasn’t been allowed to speak to him.

Supriya Sharma: A case was registered against Supriya Sharma, Executive Editor of Scroll, on June 18, 2020 under the SC/ST Act and IPC 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) for reporting a series of stories on the poor state of affairs in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency. The case was filed on the complaint of Mala Devi, a resident of Domari, the village adopted by PM Modi in Varanasi, alleging that Supriya Sharma had wrongly reported that her condition had worsened during the Corona virus induced lockdown due to a shortage of food support.

Cases were filed against five journalists of Bijnor- Ashish Tomar, Shakil Ahmed, Lakhan Singh, Aamir Khan and Moin Ahmad on September 7, 2020 under IPC 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 268 (public nuisance) and 503 (criminal intimidation) and Section 66A of the IT Act. The FIR had charged Tomar and Ahmed of trying to vitiate social amity by circulating fake news about a Valmiki family from Titarwala Basi village, under Mandwar police station, putting their house on sale after not being allowed to collect water from the village hand pump due to the harassment of local musclemen. The journalists stood by their story and the district administration had to take back the case after an action committee of scribes lodged a protest.

Ravindra Saxena: For reporting about the mismanagement of a quarantine centre of Maholi tehsil of Sitapur, this reporter of Today-24 a news portal, was booked under SC/ST Act and the Disaster Management Act. After protests of journalists, Saxena’s arrest was stalled but the FIR has not been withdrawn.

Vijay Vineet and Manish Mishra: Cases were filed against these journalists from a local daily Janadesh Times for their report appearing on March 26, 2020 regarding the plight of the Musahar residents of Koiripur village in Varanasi district accompanied by a visual showing children eating grass.

Asad Rizvi, a Lucknow based freelance journalist, was assaulted by the police on October 2, while he was reporting on protests in the city, in the aftermath of the rape of a dalit girl in Hathras a few weeks earlier. In a complaint letter written by Rizvi to police and state authorities, he mentioned that he was beaten up by 7-8 policemen, even though he had told them he was a journalist and was simply covering the protest site. After that, the police tried to break his mobile phone and confiscated his memory card.

As the Chief Minister of India’s largest state, you are well aware of the important precedence that the state sets with respect to safeguarding all constitutional rights. This is especially crucial with respect to preserving the space for free media, more so at a time when the world has been in the throes of a pandemic. Media has played an important role in raising awareness about the pandemic,” the letter said.

“We urge you to free the jailed journalists, withdraw cases that are under review, as well as to ensure safety of all working journalists in the state. Editors Guild is keen to send a delegation of national Editors to Lucknow, to meet you and to work with your administration to explore ways that can create a protective environment for the media to work without fear or favour,” the letter concluded.

India

PM must wake up to reality about poverty: Chidambaram

Published

on

chidambaram

A day after 15 migrant construction workers, including a child, were crushed to death by a truck in Gujarat’s Surat, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Wednesday slammed the Modi government at the Centre, saying it is time that the Prime Minister woke up to reality and not repeat the statistics about toilets, housing and open defection-free numbers fed by bureaucrats.

In a statement, Chidambaram said, “The tragedy of 15 migrant construction workers being run over and killed in Gujarat must open our eyes to the reality of poverty in India.”

Firing salvos at the government, former Finance Minister Chidambaram asked “why were the workers sleeping on the roadside? Is not the contractor obliged to provide them shelter near the construction site? Where do they wash, bathe, cook and keep their children? On the roadside in the open?”

“The Prime Minister must wake up to the reality and not repeat the ‘statistics’ about toilets, housing and ODF fed by bureaucrats,” he said.

His remarks came a day after at least 15 migrant labourers from Rajasthan, including a child sleeping near a road were crushed to death and six others injured by a speeding dumper truck in Surat.

The incident happened when the dumper truck lost control and ran over some 20 sugarcane farm labourers. Twelve were killed on the spot, one died while being shifted to hospital and two succumbed later during treatment while six others were being treated in hospital.

–IANS

Continue Reading

India

Leaking classified info act of ‘treason’: Cong on Arnab chat

Published

on

By

Arnab Goswami

Upping the ante against the government over journalist Arnab Goswami’s purported social media chat leak, the Congress on Wednesday described it as an act of “treason” and demanded an immediate inquiry over leaking of such classified information about the Balakot air strikes.

The Congress also said it will raise the issue of the alleged chat leaks in Parliament’s Budget session.

The Congress brought out several senior members of the party to corner the government over the issue with former Defence Minister A.K. Antony, former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Law Minister Salman Khurshid and party spokesperson Pawan Khera.

Addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters, Antony said, “The contents of the leaked chats between Goswami of Republic TV and the former CEO of BARC is a serious issue for the entire nation.”

Antony said that for a very patriotic Indian, it is a shock and a serious matter of concern because it affects national security.

The Congress leader said that it effects the security of armed forces, especially in this case, the security of brave air warriors. “And also in the way they (Goswami and BARC CEO) mentioned the martyrdom of 40 CRPF men is all a serious concern for us,” Antony said.

He said that the people of the country and the political parties might have differences on several issues but are united when it comes to national security cutting across the religious and party lines to protect the country.

“But now it is very clear that classified documents that too considering the national security and also considering the most sensitive secret air strikes were available with the people who were not expected to know it, and were not authorised to get these documents,” Antony said.

He said “I am very sad and shocked” over the leaked chats between Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta and the language they used while mentioning the martyrdom of 40 CRPF troopers.

Firing salvos at the government, the Congress leader said, “Three days before the Balakot air strikes, how did one journalist come to know of the details of it? It would have effected the operation and its effectiveness.”

Only very few people are expected to be in the know of such secret information, to know the details of the military operations. “Even all the Cabinet ministers are not expected to get that as only a few handful of people and few military people are informed about such operations,” he said.

“These documents were leaked to the media, but not the entire media but to only one journalist by the people who were in top positions of the government,” he alleged.

“Leaking official secrets about the military operation, national security matters, sensitive military operations especially air force strike is treason and anti-national activity,” he alleged.

“It is not only criminal activity, it is anti-national activity and a treason. Whoever has done they must be punished for anti-national activities and treason,” he said.

Questioning the silence of the government over the issue, Antony said, “Even till today the government has not said anything on this. I am sure these anti-national activities or leakage of secret military operations was among the four or five civilian people. I don’t suspect anybody. But one of them is suspect. It needs to be enquired immediately on a war footing. And whoever is guilty should be punished for treason.”

He also said that the journalist who got such secret military operation details has to be punished.

“Urgently the government must order an enquiry. And whoever is responsible and whoever is part of the leakage of military operations should be shown no mercy and he has to be punished,” Antony said.

Shinde said that what Goswami has done is not just shameful for the country but also for journalism. “In last several years no media organisation or any journalist has done such act,” he said.

He said that the country has seen several wars and the governments of different parties, but such an act of leakage of official secrets was never witnessed.

“They were celebrating on Pulwama after our 40 CRPF troopers were killed in a terror attack,” the former Home Minister said, referring to the chats of Goswami and Partho Dasgupta.

On Tuesday, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had also slammed the government and said that leaking sensitive information related to national security to a journalist is a “criminal act” and persons behind this should be put in prison.

–IANS

Continue Reading

India

Leaking national secret to journalist is a criminal act: Rahul Gandhi

Published

on

Rahul Gandhi Farmers

New Delhi, Jan 19 : Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that leaking sensitive information related to the national secret of a planned attack to a journalist is a “criminal act” and persons behind this should be put in prison.

To a question about the alleged chats discussing the Balakot air strike after the February 14, 2019 Pulwama terror strike on CRPF convoy, Rahul Gandhi said, “Leaking of any sensitive information is a criminal act. This applies to the person who sends it and the person who receives it.”

He said that such a sensitive issue was a subject of national secret regarding a planned air strike which is only either with the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Union Defence Minister, Indian Air Force Chief and the National Security Advisor.

“I want to know who among the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defence Minister or NSA leaked secret information to the journalist. This is a criminal act. If the journalist had such information on his WhatsApp, I assume the Pakistanis too had it,” he said.

He also said that by leaking such information to a journalist risked the IAF fighter jets and pilots and this was not an act of “patriotism”.

He also said for leaking such a classified information, the process of putting the people in prison should start.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular