Press Association condemns attack on media persons

Press Association condemns attack on media persons

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury with journalists during a protest against the alleged attack by Delhi Police on Kerala journalists during yesterday's protest against CAA at Delhi Gate, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The Press Association, a national body of government accredited journalists, on Saturday condemned the "attack and harassment" of journalists during coverage of the protests on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as it appealed to all sections to realise the need of a free and fair press.

In a statement, the Association said it views the attack on journalists, who were on their line of duty in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka and Punjab, as an attack on the media freedom and urged authorities to ensure full security to the media in the discharge of their duties as the Fourth Estate.

"The Association is also concerned over incidents of burning of media OB vans during the protest and appeal to all sections to realise the need of a free, fair press and the importance of media reporting during incidents of national importance," the statement by Press Association President Jaishankar Gupta and General Secretary C K Nayak said.

The statement gave details of a number of incidents, including the detention of Omar Rashid, a journalist of The Hindu in Uttar Pradesh, detention of seven scribes in Mangalore in Karnataka and attack on one reporter and one video journalist of Mathrubhumi News – Arun Shankar and Vaisakh – in Delhi when they were doing their duty.

It also cited the ANI Reporter Ujjwal Roy and Cameraperson Sarabjeet Singh were assaulted while covering protests near Jamia Milia Islamia University.

Earlier two journalists—Dinesh R and Wasim Sayeed of Asianet News, a prominent Malayalam news channel, were also attacked during the coverage of the protests by JamiaMilia University students. Wasim was seriously injured during stone-pelting and had to be admitted to a hospital thereafter.

"Camera of a news channel was damaged while another’s was taken but not returned as yet. Journalists were attacked in Sambhal and media OB vans were torched in Lucknow.

In a separate unrelated incident, armed men shot dead an electronic media journalist Jobanpreet Singh and Gurchet Singh, working for a vernacular daily in Moga in Punjab," it said.

"The Association is anguished over such incidents and demand speedy investigation in such cases to deter perpetrators of such crimes from carrying out such acts in future," it said. 

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