Hyderabad/Chandigarh, Nov.5 (Hydnow): Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly condemned the arrest of Republic TV Chief Editor Arnab Goswami in Mumbai on Wednesday in a closed and then reopened the two-year-old case of alleged abetment of suicide. It termed it as an attack on freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) President K Sreenivas Reddy and Secretary-General, and member of the Press Council of India (PCI) Balwinder Singh Jammu said the action of the Mumbai police smacked of political vendetta against a newsman who was critical of the state government.
The IJU leaders said, “While we do not approve the brand of journalism Arnab Goswami and his Republic TV practice, the arrest and the way he was arrested exposes the political intent of the Mumbai police, who are considered to be the best in the country. We would like to point out that attempts to silence criticism, however unreasonable it may be, violates the fundamental right of freedom of the press and freedom of expression.”
The IJU leaders ridiculed the statements of the BJP leaders and Union ministers including the
Ministers of Home and Information and Broadcasting that ‘shades of emergency’ were visible in the arrest of Arnab Goswami. “More than 50 journalists including veterans such as Vinod Dua and Siddharth Varadarajan, were booked for sedition by state governments headed by BJP for their reportage and critical comments against omissions and commissions of the ruling party and its governments, latest being the arrest of Malayalam journalist Siddique Kappan under draconian UAPA while going to Hathras by the Uttar Pradesh police.
They should introspect on their acts before casting stones on others,” they said. The IJU hoped that Arnab Goswamy would learn a lesson from his arrest and realise that ‘the freedom of expression of others is as precious and inviolable as his.’
“We advise him to refrain from naming calling of opponents of the ruling dispensation at the centre, shouting, haranguing, and insulting his guests. He should also stop ‘studio investigation and trials’ of criminal cases with an intent to sensationalise to gain TRP ratings. He should also shun unethical journalism to promote communal and anti-democratic narrative in service of his political masters,” the IJU leaders said. (Hydnow)