Hyderabad: The Mumbai press club on Thursday condemned the “harassment” of the media in Uttar Pradesh (UP) for doing its job. Several news platforms as well as individuals, who reported a reported communal attack of one Abdul Samad Saifi, are the latest victims to suffer the UP police’s ‘strong-arm measures’, it said.
Referring to the recent incident in Ghaziabad, UP, where an elderly man Abdul Samad Saifi suffered at the hands of a hate mob who cut-off his beard, The Mumbai Press Club, in a statement, said “Instead of investigating this horrible the humiliation of a senior citizen, and providing him protection, the UP police on June 15, registered an FIR against six individuals for their tweets on the victim’s claims, two on the Wire for their tweets on June 14 and three on Twitter for having published these tweets.”
Furthermore, the Mumbai press club added that to “whitewash” the crime, charges have been brought against the media entities for promoting communal disharmony. “The police have also come to the specious conclusion that there was no evidence of communal hatred,” the statement said.
The club demanded the false FIRs against the individuals and media organizations, The Wire, and Twitter to be immediately withdrawn.
“Considering the incessant hounding of the news media in the state of UP, the club calls upon the union ministry of information and broadcasting to educate the UP government and its chief minister Yogi Adityanath on the tenets of ‘freedom of expression’ and the right to report incidents of news value,” it added.
The statement concluded by bringing up the recent judgment of the Delhi high court which flagged the authoritarian tendency to equate peaceful dissent with “terrorism”, the Mumbai press club said “those running the government at Lucknow need to be suitably restrained.”