Updated: January 30, 2021 4:20:16 am
A day after FIRs under sedition and other charges were filed against senior editors and journalists for reporting and tweets on the farmers’ protests and violence across Delhi on January 26, the Editors Guild of India said “this targeting of journalists grievously violates and tramples on every value that our democratic republic stands for” and added that it is “intended to grievously hurt the media and prevent it from working as an independent watchdog of Indian democracy”.
In a statement on Friday, the Guild said it “strongly condemns the intimidating manner in the way in which the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Police have registered FIRs against senior editors and journalists”, including current and former office-bearers of the Guild, “for reporting on the farmers’ protest rallies and the ensuing violence that took place in the national capital” on January 26.
Journalists, it said, “have been specifically targeted for reporting the accounts pertaining to the death of one of the protestors on their personal social media handles as well as those of the publications they lead and represent” even as “several reports were emerging” from multiple sources, which is “in line with established norms of journalistic practice”.
One of the FIRs was filed in Gautam Buddh Nagar on Thursday against eight persons — Congress MP Shashi Tharoor; Rajdeep Sardesai of India Today Group; Mrinal Pande, National Herald; Vinod Jose, Anant Nath, and Paresh Nath of Caravan magazine, editor-in-chief of Qaumi Awaz Zafar Agha and one unnamed person.
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