The Catholic-Christian Secular Forum (CSF) has threatened that it will be forced to move President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention for upholding press freedom in Karnataka if the Jagadish Shettar government did not release journalists Naveen Soorinje of Kasturi TV and Sharan of Sahaya TV, arrested in connection with the attack on “Home Stay,” a party hall, in Mangalore by Hindu fundamentalists.

The incident happened on July 28 last year and the police have charge-sheeted 44 persons, including the two journalists.

CSF general secretary Joseph Dias urged Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to send a report to the President on the state of affairs in the BJP-ruled State, particularly relating to the arrest of the journalists and strangulation of press freedom/ freedom of expression.

The CSF also sought a judicial inquiry into the arrest of the journalists and suspension of the police officers responsible for their detention.

The Mangalore Rural police, who are investigating the case, charged the newsmen with abetting offences such as dacoity, unlawful behaviour, and outraging the modesty of women allegedly committed by the Hindu fundamentalists involved in the attack. The girls, who were participating in a birthday party, were attacked and some were injured.