Editors Guild condemns violence against Assam journos

Editors Guild condemns violence against Assam journos

A day after security forces broke into the offices of the Prag News, a private news channel, and beat up its cameramen and other staff in Assam, the Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Saturday deplored the incident. They also demanded that an enquiry be conducted to identify and punish those who indulged in “such violence” against the journalists.

The police crackdown on the news channel's employee came while massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 were underway in Guwahati on Friday.

The Editors' body termed the police actions as “indefensible acts of violence” on the employees of the Assamese new channel.

“The guild's attention has been drawn to a social media video that shows uniformed policemen running amok outside the Prag News offices, targeting cameramen belonging to the television channel with their batons. The guild demands that an enquiry should be instituted to identify those who indulged in such violence against the journalists, and punish the guilty,” the EGI said in a statement.

The Editors' body also decried a recent advisory of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry that sought all the private news channels to desist from broadcasting content that could incite violence or cause law and order problems or “anti-national” feelings.

It termed the I&B ministry's advisory as “regressive,” urging the government to withdraw it.

“The guild believes that the media's overall commitment to responsible coverage of developments in the country should not be questioned through such an advisory. It is the media's responsibility to report freely and truthfully and fairly. The guild decries such a regressive advisory that interferes in the functioning of a free media,” the EGI noted.