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Editor’s Guild condemns CBI raids on NDTV’s Prannoy Roy

Intended to inspire “fear and terror in the media”, says Congress spokesperson

The CBI raids on the homes and offices of Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, promoters of NDTV, for defaulting on a loan offered by the largest private bank, ICICI, drew a sharp reaction particularly on social media, from the Delhi Government, the Congress party and the media fraternity, who questioned not only the circumstances but also the timing of the action initiated by the premier investigating agency.

President of the Editors Guild of India, Raj Chengappa, in a statement expressed deep concern over the raids and said,

it “condemns any attempt to muzzle the media and calls upon the CBI to follow the due process of law and ensure there is no interference in the free functioning of news operations.

Responding to the raids, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “We strongly condemn raids on Dr Roy n NDTV group. Its an attempt to silence independent and anti-establishment voices.”

The Congress party expressed dismay at the raids and said they were intended to inspire “fear and terror in the media”.

Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said, “When NDTV predicted a BJP victory on the morning of counting for the Bihar polls (won by the JD-U, RJD-Congress combine), suppressed an interview with former finance minister P Chidambaram, predicted a Congress defeat in Punjab, the Modi government was happy. But when NDTV anchor Nidhi Razdan asked a BJP spokesperson to leave a panel discussion, it immediately acted against the channel.”

Urging people to speak up, N. Ram chairman of Kasturi & Sons Ltd., Publisher of the Hindu Group of Publications, tweeted, “Those who value media freedom must speak out & act 'cause they know that while nothing will happen in the end the process is the punishment.”

Consulting editor of news channel TV Today, Rajdeep Sardesai, said “when raids are carried on a respectable public figure, on a nine-year old investigation, questions are bound to be raised and it becomes incumbent on the CBI and the Government to come out with the details. Raids cannot become reasons for rumours and innuendo.

NDTV has been in the crosshairs of the BJP-led NDA government for quite some time now. Last year, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry ordered the channel to go off air for compromising the security of the country as security forces fought off militants in Pathankot (Punjab).

This was after an inter-ministerial committee found that the channel’s coverage of the terror attacks had revealed strategically sensitive details of the Government’s offensive against terrorists. NDTV’s plea that this wasn’t the case found no takers in the Government which went ahead with ordering a day’s ban on NDTV India.

A few days ago, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the channel, on air, of carrying on an agenda and was asked to leave the programme or tender an apology. A heated exchange followed on air.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:40:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/editors-guild-condemns-cbi-raids-on-ndtvs-prannoy-roy/article18724688.ece

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