The Delhi Union of Journalists in a press statement mentioned that it regrets the targeting of media persons by multiple authorities. Journalists are caught in a pincer attack from many sides and are facing harassment.
Hindu Dismissals: The DUJ through their statement condemned The Hindu group’s decision to sack a large number of employees, citing financial troubles. The move comes over and above a big round of sackings by media groups during the first lockdown in 2020. Many are still struggling to find alternative employment and income.
ABP Journalist Murdered: Journalists in states like Uttar Pradesh are increasingly under attack. The DUJ condemns the brutal killing of ABP News journalist Sulabh Shrivastava by liquor mafia in Pratapgarh on June 13, 2021. He had covered a raid by police on the liquor mafia. He received threats and informed the UP Police of the Prayagraj zone in writing but no action was taken and he was murdered the next day. The ABP News management must pursue the matter to ensure punishment for the murderers. They should also provide the family adequate compensation. It is unfortunate that many managements take little responsibility for such attacks. The ABP management must issue a statement on the matter and the steps they are taking in the pursuit of justice. DUJ urged transparency of the case.
Targetted for Tweets: The DUJ further mentioned that it is shocked that the Ghaziabad police have chosen to file an FIR against select journalists and politicians for tweets about the attack on an elderly Muslim man. Prominent journalists Saba Naqvi, Rana Ayyub and Mohd. Zubair besides The Wire, Twitter Inc and Twitter Communications India Pvt have been named for allegedly provoking riots and enmity between different groups. IPC Sections 153, 153A, 295A, 505, 120B and 34 have been slapped on them. Congress politicians Salman Nizami, Shama Mohamed and Maskoor Usmani have also been charged. It is unfortunate that the dispute between Twitter and the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has resulted in journalists being caught in the crossfire. DUJ demands the immediate withdrawal of these charges.
Meanwhile, a case has been filed in a Delhi court against journalist Neha Dixit under S.156 (3) of CrPC for a tweet accusing RSS of child trafficking and condemn the growing climate of intolerance in which tweets, facebook posts and reports by media persons are leading to the filing of arbitrary charges against them.
Kappan Case: The DUJwelcomed the limited relief provided to journalist Siddique Kappan on June 15, 2021 by a Mathura court that has dropped bailable charges of breach of peace against him and three others who were arrested in October 2020 while going to Hathras to investigate a rape case. However, charges under the draconian UAPA still stand. Kappan contracted Covid in jail and has since recovered.