Shantaram Naik, Rajya Sabha member, has demanded the censoring of abusive, defamatory, and filthy comments that appear on the websites of newspapers publishing news items.

Mr. Naik told The Hindu from New Delhi on Thursday that he raised the matter during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha earlier in the day, referring to a news item appearing in a leading daily reporting the crash-landing in Ranchi of a helicopter carrying Chief Minister of Jharkhand Arjun Munda, his wife, and others.

He said that in such circumstances, people normally expressed a sense of relief and happiness that the Chief Minister and other members on board had a narrow escape.

However, in recent times, readers are allowed to post their comments on the internet editions of newspapers and it was unfortunate that such comments were not moderated and were allowed to appear. Mr. Naik said these comments could not be exempted from the laws of the land, just because they did not appear in the print edition of the newspaper. Had these comments appeared in print, they would have sparked riots.

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