IJU condemns arrest of journalists in Kerala01 Aug, 2016
The Indian Journalists Union (IJ) strongly condemned the arrest of two journalists of Asianet TV and seizing their OB Van by the police at the City Court premises in Kozhikode, Kerala when they went there to cover the outcome of the trial in a politically sensitive case on Saturday.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, the IJU President S N Sinha, Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli and Kerala Journalists Union (KJU) President V B Rajan said action of the police was a direct attack on the freedom of the press. The claim of the police that the journalists were arrested on the orders of the Court were immediately denied by the Judge, exposing the high-handed behavior of the police.
The IJU and KJU leaders said “It is an extension of the ban on media to enter the premise of the all the courts, including the High Court in the state. It is unfortunate that the police again raked up the case when the controversy raging for the last few weeks between the lawyers and journalists is subsiding after the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court appointed a committee to revise Guide Lines for reporting court trials and verdicts in the state. We demand the Chief Minister of Kerala to immediately take stringent action against the police officers responsible for the arrest of journalists and confiscation of their equipment including OB van immediately.
“Immediate steps should be taken to resolve the issue so that the media can discharge its function of informing the people on the outcome of sensitive cases being heard in Courts without any hindrance.”
Sinha, Amar and Rajan requested the Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice C K Prasad to intervene and resolve the issue in the interest of free function of the media.