Attacks on Media
IJU Statement: Journalist released on bail – Prashant Kanojia12 Jun, 2019
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) welcomed the order of the Supreme Court granting immediate bail to Prashant Kanojia, a freelance journalist based in Delhi, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on 8 June for posting on twitter a video of a woman claiming that she proposed marriage to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The Supreme Court vacation bench consisting of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Ajay Rastogi said that the freedom of expression and other rights guaranteed in Constitution ‘are sacrosanct and non- negotiable”.
In last three days the Uttar Pradesh police arrested three more journalists, Anuj Shukla and Ishita Singh of Nation Live, a Noida-based news channel and Peer Mohammad, a freelance journalist from Gorakhpur district for airing the footage of the woman speaking to newsmen and for posting it on social media.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Amar Devulapalli, President of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and member of the Press Council of India (PCI) demanded that the other three journalists should also be released immediately. He said “the order of the apex court granting bail to Prashant Kanojia is a slap on the face of Yogi Adityanath government, which arbitrarily arrested four journalists for reporting on the social media and in their news outlets. The IJU demands that the Uttar Pradesh government should immediately release all the four arrested journalists, Prashant Kanojia, Anuj Shukla, Ishita Singh and Peer Mohmmad”.
Amar expressed concern over the growing intolerance among the ruling elite over perceived adverse reporting and contrary opinion in the media. He asked the working journalists along with editors and other sections of the civil society, who cherished the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, to come together and unitedly resist the draconian arrests and threats in interest of democracy and rule of law.