Journalists’ body criticises police for gag orders

The restrictions imposed by the city police, on media coverage of the investigation into certain important crime incidents, have drawn flak from the Mysuru District Journalists’ Association (MDJA).

The MDJA has said that the police action was not only a threat to the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, but also aimed at indirectly suppressing the media. “The police department’s actions remind us of the emergency period,” said president of MDJA K. Deepak in a statement released to the media.

The Police Commissioner’s office issued a statement barring the media from the covering the progress of investigations into the Devu murder case, bomb blast in the toilet in Mysuru court premises and RSS activist Raju murder case.

In its statement, the police have cited orders issued by the courts, which have barred reporting or telecast of reports on the progress of investigations into the Devu murder and the bomb blast.

Mr. Deepak has said that the MDJA respects the orders issued by the court.

The police, however, said that the court ordered restrictions on the coverage of the probe into the bomb blast after the Investigation Officer filed a petition seeking such a direction to the media.

No such court orders were cited by the police in its appeal against reporting the investigations into the murder of RSS activist Raju.

The MDJA sought to remind the police commissioner that the media functions as “bridge” between the police department and the general public.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 12:27:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Journalists%E2%80%99-body-criticises-police-for-gag-orders/article14571195.ece

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