Activists condemn raids on media outlets

Activists condemn raids on media outlets

Experts from various fields and non-government organisations led by the Environment Support Group (ESG) came together to express solidarity with media houses and civil society who were "being harassed by various government agencies" for expressing dissent.

ESG coordinator Leo F Saldanha said there has been an attack on civil societies by various government departments, especially finance ministry offices, which was not acceptable.

Objecting to the raids conducted by Central government agencies on three organisations — The Quint, The News Minute and Greenpeace India — he said the 'Solidarity Forum for Dissent' believes in and celebrates dissent.

The forum is a platform comprising key players, including the Amnesty International, Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali, Alternative Law Forum besides independent journalists and filmmakers.

Saldanha said the attack on fundamental freedom, which is central to a democracy, is a serious concern. “We are not accepting this anymore. We are tired of this and we are here to express our solidarity with any organisation or individual who is becoming vulnerable because of dissent. This forum is called the Solidarity Forum for Dissent,” he said.

He said the three organisations were raided by Income Tax authorities and Enforcement Directorate. This, the forum believes, is an attempt to muzzle creative alternatives to the vision of the country.

They claimed one of the raids was conducted with no search warrant. They said that about 10 officials entered the Greenpeace office in Bengaluru, questioned officials, searched documents and took away copies of several documents, all without any official communication or authority vested by the due process of law.