The Editors Guild of India on Thursday “unequivocally” condemned two separate incidents of attacks on journalists in Delhi and Bengaluru. The guild said the attacks are “reprehensible” and demanded that the police take quick action against those guilty in both the cases.
The first incident that the association expressed concern was over the mob attack on three journalists from Caravan magazine in North East Delhi’s Subhash Mohalla neighbourhood while they were reporting on a story on Tuesday. “They also say they were subjected to communal slurs, threatened with murder and sexually harassed,” it said in a statement. “The case of assault on journalists working with The Caravan shows a dangerous trend where communally inspired people can assault and harass journalists with impunity in the presence of an indifferent police.”
Journalists Prabhjit Singh, Shahid Tantray and a woman colleague were reporting on communal tensions that broke out in the area on the night of August 5, following the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. In his complaint, Singh said that Tantray would have been lynched in his absence for being a Muslim.
The second incident the guild referred to was the attack on four journalists belonging to India Today, The News Minute and Suvarna News 24X7 while they were covering Tuesday night’s clashes in Bengaluru. “These journalists at that time were on duty, reporting on the vandalism and police shooting in the wake of a mob violence in the city,” the association said. “The Bengaluru incident also highlights the failure of the law enforcement agencies in maintaining an environment where the media can function freely and without fear.”
The guild said the freedom of the media to discharge its responsibilities without fear or harassment is an important and indispensable attribute of a functioning democracy. “The Editors Guild of India demands that the police authorities in Delhi and Bengaluru take cognisance of both the cases and quickly take necessary steps to initiate action against the guilty,” it added.
- Delhi Police were scared of mob and helpless, say ‘Caravan’ journalists who were attacked
- Mob attack on journalists reporting on Delhi communal tension reflects India’s state of lawlessness