The Editors Guild of India yesterday condemned the arrest of a journalist and the editor and head of a television channel over alleged objectionable content related to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, describing the police action as an “authoritarian misuse of laws” and an effort to intimidate the media.
An FIR was registered against Noida-based journalist Prashant Kanojia at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Friday night in which it was alleged that the accused made “objectionable comments against Adityanath and tried to malign his image.”
Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the Chief Minister’s office claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath.
The editor and the head of a Noida-based television channel, Nation Live - Ishita Singh and Anuj Shukla- were arrested by Uttar Pradesh police for the same issue, the Guild said.
“The police action is high-handed, arbitrary and amounts to an authoritarian misuse of laws,” the Guild said in a statement.
“Whatever the accuracy of the woman’s claims, to register a case of criminal defamation against the journalists for sharing it on the social media and airing it on a television channel is a brazen misuse of law,” it said.