CBI raids on NDTV promoters: Journalists claim ‘Emergency-like situation’

The NDTV had described the actions as a "witch-hunt" based on "same old" false accusations.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: June 9, 2017 9:47 pm
ndtv raid, cbi raid on ndtv, prannoy roy, radhika roy, press freedom, bribery, icici bank loss, arun shourie, bjp, india news, indian express Prannoy Roy, founder of NDTV

Several senior journalists on Friday came together to protest against an “Emergency-like situation” which they alleged was due to “attempts to muzzle the voices” of media with NDTV founder Prannoy Roy demanding that issues involving his channel be resolved in time-bound manner.

The protest, which saw some senior journalists like Kuldeep Nayyar, Arun Shourie, H K Dua and S Nihal Singh in attendance at the lawns of the Press Club of India here, came days after the CBI conducted searches at the residence of Roy here and three other locations for allegedly causing losses to a private bank.

The NDTV had described the actions as a “witch-hunt” based on “same old” false accusations.

Former Union minister and veteran journalist Shourie alleged that the government has been controlling the media through two major instruments — one by “offering bribe” through advertisements and the other by “subterranean spreading of fear”.

“Now they are using the third instrument, which is overt pressure and they have made NDTV an example of that. I believe this will intensify in the coming months,” he said.

Shourie alleged that the government would in future not only resort to managing but also suppressing the voices of dissent.

“If you (journalists) think that if you give prominence to articles of some of the ministers in newspapers or give them air time, they will help you in crisis.

“In fact, when the assault comes on you, none of them will help,” Shourie said.

He said the present government is run by “two and half men”, without elaborating whom he referred to. “There is no minister here. The government is of two-and-a-half men,” he alleged.

“Instead of buying peace with concession, I would urge non cooperation…just boycott their (government’s) press conferences, deny them that,” Shourie said.

Eminent jurist Fali S Nariman said no one is immune to being prosecuted from criminal offence. “But the manner and circumstances and the so-called justification of the CBI raids give me reason to believe that all this is definitely an unjustified attack on press and media,” he said.

“We are meeting here to stop future deligitimisatioon of the media,” he said, adding similar attempts to muzzle the voices of media were made by the Indira Gandhi government.

Veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayyar urged journalists to rise to the occasion in this battle for independent media. “We cannot and should not allow anybody to muzzle the voice of media. We are facing more or less the same situation as in the Emergency,” he said.

Addressing the gathering, Roy said, “I commit here today that we will answer all the charges openly and transparently. What all I ask is to please make it a time-bound process.”

Members of the Press Club of India, the Federation of Press Clubs of India, Delhi Union of Journalists, the Press Association, the Foreign Correspondents Club, the Indian Women’s Press Corps and the Editors Guild of India were also present.

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    Girish Nautiyal
    Jun 10, 2017 at 3:43 pm
    First of all, it is totally unwarranted and incorrect to say that freedom of press is in danger today in the country as is being labelled by some of the so called veteran lutiyan journalists. These are the same people who once spreaded the intolerance viruses in all over the country and got success in their nefarious agenda. All the time, such kind of people would succeed to mislead the people of the country that is not going to happen now. Running media channel for own benefit does not give license to any one to play with rule of law. Instead co-operating with the Govt Agencies, NDTV have started mud s ing game against these agencies and Govt. as well. Unfortunately, some of the journalists, who are in the same platform are supporting the illegal act of NDTV.
    1. Ravindra Sharma
      Jun 10, 2017 at 9:25 am
      Do you people think that Paranav Roy is modern day Ram Nath Goyanaka ? If it is then certainly Soniaamma must be declared the Mother of India . What a shame that old horses who are now rejected , dejected and decimated are now crying in favor of a thief .
      1. P
        Patra Kar
        Jun 10, 2017 at 2:39 am
        It is an emergent situation - but backwards! ... Fake media , paid media which distorts ! Both must be curbed and punished under law. Also, investigate any bank fraud done by any so called 'media house' ! Law must prevail. People too have to be vigilant and report violators.
        1. P
          Jun 9, 2017 at 11:07 pm
          When it is the same private corporate housed media whose editors and journalists decided to profit from politics in the past knowing fully well that their day will come, why should anyone believe what they have to say today? Get in line like everyone else, the common man who has to suffer the law. Why are you afraid and say things like - "Make it time bound" when you so called "alleged" news reports about people have debated - let the law take its own course. You decided to grow, you decided to invest - why are you now relegating your financial decisions on the press and society at large. Are you afraid to go to jail? It did not seem to bother your editors when common people were sent to jail and you showed and conviniently forgot the news to move on to other things. Well let the public forget about you too and move on to other things now. There are more channels than NDTV to follow, so why should anyone trust you now?
          1. Suman Maitra
            Jun 9, 2017 at 10:48 pm
            Most of the Corporate owned media houses are now become the cheer leaders of ultra nationalistic fury, wrap-around hawkish majoritarian outfit .
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