'Maha govt harassing journalists, terrorising media'

Maharashtra govt harassing journalists, terrorising media: Fadnavis

Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.

Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday led a party delegation to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari claiming there was an undeclared emergency in the state and that journalists were being terrorised by the Uddhav Thackeray government.

Fadnavis, leader of the opposition in the Assembly and former chief minister, was accompanied by Pravin Darekar, leader of opposition in the council, senior leaders Ashish Shelar and Vinod Tawde, as well as Mumbai party unit chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha.

Fadnavis claimed ABP Majha journalist Rahul Kulkarni was arrested in connection with a migrant mob gathering in Bandra during lockdown on April 14 because he had exposed a letter given by a state government official to scam-accused DHFL promoters Wadhawans allowing them to travel from Mumbai to Satara during lockdown.

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Since the case was filed in Mumbai, the arrested journalist was made to travel through COVID-19 hotspots from Osamanabad to the metropolis, Fadnavis alleged.

He said a case had also been filed against a Times Now journalist for a new report.

The media can be asked to clarify a negative news report but filing cases and arresting them amounts to terrorising the media, the former CM claimed.

Fadnavis further pointed out that journalist Arnab Goswami was grilled for 12 hours by the police in connection with a news programme he hosted.

Those speaking out against the state government on social media are also being harassed, adding that even distribution of newspapers was being curtailed in the name of a health threat.

The door-to-door delivery of newspapers has been prohibited in containment areas to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.

"We urge you to intervene and seek a response from the state government," Fadnavis told the governor.

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