NDTV searches: Journalists claim Emergency-like situation

NDTV searches: Journalists claim Emergency-like situation

Various media bodies joined by eminent jurists, intellectuals and journalists including former Union Minister Arun Shourie held a protest meet against the CBI case on the NDTV promoters, appealing to the media fraternity to "unite and resist" against the Narendra Modi government's "attempts to muzzle" Press in India.

“This is not the time to sit in judging each other. They (Modi government) will try to divide you and pit you against each other. This will intensify in coming days because the nature of this regime is totalitarian. They are extending it step by step," Shourie, a former Bharatiya Janata Party leader, said while addressing the protest meet.

He said Modi government was using three instruments to control media—“first stuffing the mouth of media with bribe of ads, second spreading fear and third applying overt pressure of which NDTV is an example.”

“They tend to suppress the voice of dissent because the gap between their speeches and ground realities have widened. The Government is using social media to spread lies. Modi has a huge team working on the social media. You (journalists) also must counter,” he added.

Addressing the gathering, eminent jurist Fali S Nariman defended NDTV's case, saying all raids conducted by the CBI on the premises of the NDTV and case instituted against the news channel's promoters Prannoy Roy, his wife and others were “unjustified attack” on them.

He noted that the CBI has filed case against NDTV promoters on the basis of information supplied to it by a person who had some grudge with the news channel. “My legal submission is that in case of allegations of criminal wrong doing, agency should have first inquire into it. It was CBI's obligation to first ask the persons against whom the allegations are made as to what they have to say,” he added.

Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar said Press was the foundation of democracy and secular ethos. “Let's commit to this idea of India.”

Speaking on the occasion, Roy defended the CBI charges against him and his wife, saying, “We will answer everyone of these false and concocted charges openly and transparently. We never touched black money”

“This is not just about NDTV but a signal to all of us. They (government)are telling you (media) that they will fix you if you don't fall in line,” he added.

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