New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India on Friday condemned the “intimidating manner” in which Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh police have registered FIRs against senior journalists, for reporting on farmers’ protests in Delhi on January 26.
“EGI finds these FIRs as an attempt to intimidate, harass, and stifle free media,” the Guild said in a statement.
It said that the journalists have been “specifically targeted” for reporting the accounts pertaining to the death of one of the protestors on their personal social media handles as well as those of the publications they lead and represent.
“It must be noted that on the day of the protest and high action, several reports were emerging from eyewitnesses on the ground as well as from the police, and therefore it was only natural for journalists to report all the details as they emerged. This is in line with established norms of journalistic practice,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, an FIR was registered against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and six journalists for allegedly peddling fake news regarding the farmers tractor rally and instigating the protestors to cause riots.
“This targeting of journalists grievously violates and tramples on every value that our democratic republic stands for. It is intended to grievously hurt the media and prevent it from working as an independent watchdog of Indian democracy”, the Guild noted.
Demanding immediately withdrawal of FIRs, the Guild said that the media should be allowed to report without fear and with freedom.