Opposition leaders, representatives of journalists’ unions and others strongly condemn the DGP’s action
Several Opposition leaders including former Home Minister Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao, representatives of journalists’ unions and advocates on Wednesday strongly condemned filing of cases against The Hindu and Zee 24 Gantalu journalists for filing reports on DGP V. Dinesh Reddy’s meeting with God man in Old City, Hyderabad.
They formed a human chain at 7 Road Junction demanding the government to protect the freedom of the press and withdraw the cases filed against The Hindu Resident Editor S. Nagesh Kumar and release Zee 24 Gantalu journalists immediately. They raised slogans against the DGP alleging that he had instigated his officers to file cases against the journalists. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kala Venkata Rao said the media had just filed reports on DGP’s visit to the God man and there was no need to object to it since the news was not distorted.
Former Minister Gunda Appala Suryanaryana said that police officials should not misuse their power and filing of cases on reputed media organisations was an indication of the collapse of administrative system in the State. CPI (M) leaders Panchadi Paparao, Chalapati Rao, Ganapati and others said the DGP and police officers, who were involved in filing of cases, should apologise to the media organisations and withdraw the cases.
Uttarandhra Journalists’ Front leader Nalli Dharma Rao, APUWJ Srikakulam wing president N. Eswara Rao, Andhra Pradesh Working Journalists’ Federation leader Bendalam Krishna Rao, Srikakulam Press Club president Konkyana Venugopal, Srikakulam Electronic Media wing president S. Jogi Naidu and others said the DGP was in desperation with the allegations about his assets, CBI cases and seniority case in administrative tribunal. Senior Advocate Jallu Tirupati Rao said Mr. Dinesh Reddy and his loyalists had every right to file defamation cases if they were disappointed with the media reports, but they had no right to file cases against senior journalists.
KURNOOL Special Correspondent adds: President of Rayalaseema Rashtra Samithi Kuncham Venkata Subba Reddy condemned the filing of criminal case against The Hindu Resident Editor for publishing a report.
In a statement, he said it was atrocious to attempt to gag the press by framing false charges. The intolerance by the people in power would send a wrong signal to public and other anti-social elements.
The very nature of the case indicated that there was no interaction between the Resident Editor and the officer, yet the latter chose to target the Editor in order to demoralise the press.
President of Gadicharla Foundation K.C. Kalkura took exception to framing of criminal charges against the Editor of a respectable newspaper. He said the people had every right to know the conduct of public servants. When the officer’s act had a bearing on public, the newspaper had done nothing wrong in reporting the news.