The Kerala Union of Working Journalist (KUWJ) submitted a memorandum to Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday, highlighting the recent attacks on journalists in Kerala and Delhi.
The KUWJ staged a protest in front of the Kerala House in New Delhi. It noted in the memorandum that the journalists were attacked while covering the recent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who also took part in the protest, said: “We stand for a free and independent press. They are the sentinels of our democracy. The muzzling of the media highlights the government’s weakness and failure. But the truth cannot be hidden. We extend our full support to journalists who have been targeted, and we will continue to fight for the freedom of the press.”
Mr. Yechury said the worst-affected by the violence were the BJP-ruled States. “It is very clear who is encouraging this [the violence]. The media should continue reporting, informing the people about what is happening — and do so without fear.”
In the memorandum, the KUWJ said: “We strongly condemn the brutality of the Delhi police unleashed on journalists recently. Arun Shankar and Vaisakh Jayapalan of Mathrubhumi News, who are members of the Kerala Press Club, Delhi, are among those injured in the police action. Their camera was snatched away by the police. We condemn the police brutality and the insensitivity of the government.”
The KUWJ said these attacks should be seen as an attack on the freedom of press itself.
“We would like to bring to your attention an incident happened on Friday, when the Karnataka police detained and sent back seven members of our fraternity to Kerala from Mangalore while covering the protests,” the KUWJ said. Two journalists of Asianet News, a Malayalam news channel, were attacked in New Delhi while covering the protests by Jamia Millia Islamia students against the Act. Wasim Sayeed, video journalist, and Dhanesh R, reporter, were injured. Mr. Wasim Sayeed was seriously injured in stone-throwing and admitted to hospital. Soon after this incident, an attempt was made to manhandle Jaideep, a video journalist of Zee News.
“This is a matter of grave concern. As a constitutional authority, you can intervene in this matter. We request you to take up these attacks…with the authorities. We hope you will ensure that justice is done to us,” KUWJ president Miji Jose said.
Published at Sat, 21 Dec 2019 08:09:00 +0000