Journalists targeted, unduly charged contrary to Modi’s speech at G7: Editors Guild of India
The Editors Guild of India today alleged the Uttar Pradesh police did not pay heed to the concerns of a TV journalist who died in a road accident on Sunday and said journalists critical of the central and state governments "are being targeted and unjustifiably charged with sedition cases".
The deceased journalist recently did a story on liquor mafia and had written to the Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) additional director general of police seeking protection two days ago.
In a statement, the Editors Guild of India said they are "shocked by the cavalier manner in which Uttar Pradesh Police is treating the mysterious death of Sulabh Srivastava in Pratapgarh".
The statement also added that the incident has come at a time when the news media is under "pressure from central and state governments" to follow the "official narrative regarding the administration's handling of the pandemic," reports our New Delhi correspondent.
"All of this is contrary to the commitments that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made at the G-7 summit to democracy, openness and against authoritarianism," the Guild added.
The statement also alleged that journalists and cartoonists critical of the government are being targeted on social media and are under pressure from the government on such platforms.
TV news channel reporter Sulabh Srivastava (42) died after his motorcycle rammed into a pole near a brick kiln in Pratapgarh, police said today.
Additional Superintendent of Police Surendra Dwivedi said the bike crash took place on Sunday when Srivastava was returning from Asrahi village under the Lalganj police station area after reporting on an illegal arms manufacturing unit uncovered there.
After the crash, Srivastava was taken to the district hospital where doctors declared him dead, he said.
The officer said police were probing various angles and the body of the deceased was sent for a post-mortem examination.
Seeking police protection, Srivastava had said he had been informed by "sources" that the liquor mafia was angry with him after the publication of his report and wanted to harm him or his family.
"Srivastava, who had been threatened by the liquor mafia for exposing their wrongdoings, had recently written a letter to the police expressing grave apprehensions for his life. He believed that some people were following him. The authorities paid no heed to his fears," the Editors Guild of India's statement added.
In spite of this, the police are "passing off his death as being caused by an accident, that his bike rammed into a hand pump," the Guild added.