Kerala CM condemns detention of journalists in M'luru

Kerala CM condemns detention of journalists in M'luru

A protestor being detained by police personnel during a rally against the amended Citizenship Act

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday strongly condemned the detention of journalists from the state in Karnataka, where two people were killed in police firing during anti-CAA protests, and said the onslaught on media freedom was a "fascist mindset."

"I strongly condemn the attempt to portray journalists as troublemakers and their news gathering equipment as weapons. Onslaught on media freedom is a fascist mindset. There must be strong public sentiment against this," Vijayan said in a statement.

He also said the state government would make all efforts to ensure the safety of journalists from Kerala travelling to Mangalore for reporting.

Earlier, State DGP Loknath Behara told the media that he spoke to his Karnataka counterpart asking the official to ensure the release of the journalists detained.

"I spoke to the DGP of Karnataka in the morning and she assured me that actually all these people will be released as soon as we give them their names. I have requested for their safety. Not only journalists from Kerala, but those from other states have also been detained. They are confirming the identities of the journalists and release them," the top police official said.

Police in Karnataka have detained some Kerala-based media persons early on Friday in front of Government Wenlock hospital, where the post-mortem of the two deceased was underway. Their cameras and mobile phones were also seized. "The media persons detained in Mangaluru are well-known in Kerala. Still one particular channel here was reporting that fake journalists were arrested. How can they do that?" a senior journalist, who requested anonymity asked.

However, news channels in Karnataka withdrew their story. Meanwhile, over 150 journalists from various media houses in the state capital braved rains and protested the controversial CAA and the arrest of their colleagues in Mangaluru.