Scribes wear gags at KCR meetings

Correspondents of two television news channels continue protest by covering their mouths with black ribbons while attending Telangana Chief Minister Telangana K. Chandrasekhar Rao's interactive session with Rural Water Supply engineers in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf   | Photo Credit: Mohammed_Yousuf;Mohammed_Yousuf -

A day after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao issued a stern warning to the media against deriding the self-respect and culture of Telangana, journalists from two Telugu TV channels at the centre of the storm continued their protest by covering their mouth with black gags on Wednesday.

Operators had taken the channels off the air in June after the Telangana Assembly passed a unanimous resolution demanding action against them for running a programme that had offended the elected representatives.

At a meeting in the Prof. Jayashankar State Agricultural University to review the proposed Telangana State Drinking Water Grid project, the Chief Minister was greeted by three journalists in the first row wearing the gags.

Three reporters of one of the TV channels and another working for a newspaper published by the media house observed a silent protest by wearing black ribbons for a while. The Chief Minister ignored their protest.

In the evening, when Mr. Rao flew down to the Narsapur Assembly segment in the Medak parliamentary constituency, a few local journalists and those working for the two TV channels sported black badges. There were no slogans or demonstrations.

On Tuesday, when Mr. Rao was leaving for Warangal, journalists from the two channels staged a dharna demanding the lifting of the ‘ban.’ In Warangal, too, journalists sported black badges and staged a demonstration.

Irked by the developments, the Chief Minister, at the centenary celebrations of poet Kaloji Narayana Rao, issued a strong warning against media houses that aired anti-Telangana programmes.

He said: “If you deride our culture, you have no place here. I am saying this as Chief Minister.” He went on to say that erring media houses would be “buried” for consistently airing anti-Telangana programmes.

Earlier in the day, journalists working for the two channels staged a demonstration in front of Raj Bhavan urging Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to intervene and ensure that operators aired their programmes. The protesting journalists were whisked away by the police.

Opposition parties lashed out at the “offensive” remarks by the Chief Minister.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 7:35:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Scribes-wear-gags-at-KCR-meetings/article11128318.ece

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