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Journalists’ Bodies Say FIRs Against Colleagues Attempt To “Harass, Intimidate And Repress Media” India News


NEW DELHI: Even as two more FIRs, in Delhi and Gurgaon, were brought forward on Friday against high-level editors and journalists after UP and MP recorded cases, Publishers Guild of India, Indian Women’s Press Corps and the Delhi Union of Journalists strongly condemned the events, describing the actions as efforts to “intimidate, harass, intimidate and suffocate the media.”
Demanding that the FIRs immediately withdraw, EGI and IWPC said journalists reported on developments that emerged from farmers’ protest rallies in Delhi on January 26, in line with established norms of journalistic practice.
The UP and MP police had presented on January 28 FIRs against Mrinal Pande, Rajdeep Sardesai, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath and Vinod K Jose, as well as Congressman Shashi Tharoor, accusing them of sedition, promoting enmity, community disharmony and religious insults. beliefs, based on tweets they posted on social media about the death of an agricultural protester during the violence on Republic Day.
“The FIRs allege that the tweets were intentionally malicious and were the reason for the desecration of the Red Fort. Nothing could be further from the truth … That the FIRs have been registered under up to 10 different provisions, including sedition laws, promoting community disharmony, and insulting religious beliefs, is more disturbing, “the EGI said in a statement.
IWPC also said that the action against high-level journalists like Mrinal Pande was a “deliberate attempt to misrepresent the situation” and “tarnish” their reputation and that of others. DUJ President SK Pande and Secretary General Sujata Madhok demanded the immediate withdrawal of cases against journalists and reiterated their demand for a special law to protect the media from arbitrary accusations, arrests and prosecutions for making their work.
“Ms Pande and the others have duly acknowledged their genuine mistake, took responsibility and removed their posts … The IWPC believes that the charges against Ms Pande, one of the leading journalists in India who has been the editor from several leading news publications in the country, it smacks of a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the situation. It is an attempt to intimidate the media and pressure them to align themselves, “said an IWPC statement.
The Publishers Guild added that such action was intended to prevent the media from functioning as an “independent watchdog of Indian democracy” and reiterated its demand that the higher judiciary become aware of the repeated use of charges of sedition to prevent freedom of expression. They should “issue guidelines to ensure that the rampant use of such laws does not deter the free press,” the EGI said.

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