Press Statement

IJU condemns abusive threats to Malayalam news anchor

01 Mar, 2016

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and its affiliate Kerala Journalists Union (KJU) strongly condemned the abuse telephone calls to a News Anchor of Malayalam TV News Channel Asianet News by alleged sympathizers and activists of some Hindutva outfits owing allegiance to Rashtria Svayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the last two days.

In a statement issued in Hyderabad on March 1, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) President S N Sinha, Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli, Press Council of India member K Amarnath and Kerala Journalists Union (KJU) President V B Rajan said abusive telephone calls to the News Anchor Ms. Sindhu Sooryakumar for hosting a news discussion program on Mahishasura was an attack on the freedom of expression and smacked of intolerance of a fringe section of zealots to contrary view point.

“This is not acceptable. Plurality of opinions is the essence of democracy and freedom of expression is an integral part of it. We demand that the Government of Kerala should take immediate steps to nab the culprits responsible for the abusive threats and adequate security to the news anchor. We also urge upon the political parties to come to the aid of working journalists facing such threats,” the IJU and KJU leaders said.

The popular News Anchor of Asianet Malayalam News Channel based in Thiruvananthapuram, Ms. Sindhu Sooryakumar hosted a discussion on ‘Whether Celebrating Mahishasura Jayanti is an act of Treason’ on 25 February which generated a lot of heat. A BJP spokesperson also participated in the show. Her phone number was circulated on certain group in the WhatsApp after which the tirade started against her.

According to the media reports, she received more than two thousand calls in the last few days in which she was abused in most filthy language and called a prostitute for hosting the program. She was also accused of abusing Goddess Durga, which she denied.

Written By

Indian Journalists' Union Indian Journalists' Union

F-29, Shankar Market Connaught Circus, New Delhi 110001 Telephone +91 9810889396