India: IJU condemns attack on journos covering polling21 Feb, 2022
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has joined its affiliate, the Odisha Journalists Union (OJU), in condemning the attack on four journalists and kidnapping of another by miscreants who tried to capture a polling booth in the ongoing panchayat elections in Bhamdevpur area in Jaipur district of Rajasthan on Sunday.
The unions demanded that the administration arrest the culprits immediately as the attack was not just on journalists but on press freedom and democracy.
According to the OJU, some miscreants tried to seize the booth and threw out the ballot boxes. They attacked and kidnapped Gulshanaz Ali Khan, a journalist working with a private TV channel. The miscreants then attacked the journalists, who then filed a complaint with the Binjharpur police station and also informed the State Election Commission.
The OJU’s Mayurbhanj district unit said that, despite protests from the journalists, the administration was sluggish to their demand and that it must take exemplary action against the antisocial elements.
In a statement, IJU President Geetartha Pathak and Secretary-General Sabina Inderjit said that elections are critical to a vibrant democracy and attempts by miscreants and goons to silence the media while they capture polling booths is a direct attack on the voters’ rights to choose their representative. “Equally important is that the attack was stopping the media from carrying out its rightful duties,” it said, and demanded immediate action by the authorities and by the State Election Commission to inquire into the incident and arrest the culprits immediately.
The union also demanded safety and security of journalists in the state during the ongoing elections.