Need to ensure journalists' security: UP Deputy CM

Need to ensure journalists' security: UP Deputy CM

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma. ANI file photo.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma on Sunday expressed concern over incidents of attacks on scribes, saying he favours bringing a law to ensure the security of journalists in the state.

There have been incidents in which journalists were attacked by anti-social elements and this needs to be checked. There is a need to safeguard scribes, he told PTI.

Last year in Uttar Pradesh a young journalist, working for a Hindi daily, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Billhaur, 60 km from Kanpur, and in April, a TV journalist was shot at by unidentified assailants outside his house in Ghaziabad leaving him seriously injured.

"On a personal level I am concerned about the incidents of attacks on journalists while on duty and they need to be extended security so as to ensure that they carry out their duties in a fair manner, without any fear," the deputy chief minister said.

Showing a keen interest in the landmark Maharashtra Media Persons and Media Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2017, Sharma said this can be a way out for those facing risk in the line of duty.

"But, this is a policy matter and I will take it up with the chief minister (Yogi Adityanath) first," he said.

Besides, it will also help prevent people, who take advantage of their position and resort to wrong practices, demeaning the noble profession of journalism, Sharma said.

Last year on April 7, the Maharashtra assembly passed the first ever journalist protection law in the country, making attacks on scribes and media houses in the state a non-bailable offence.

Introduced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Act was passed by the state assembly without debate and any incident of violence against media persons or damage or loss of property of media persons or media institutions is now punishable in Maharashtra.

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