Withdraw black out of TV 9 and ABN: Press Council committee tells Telangana Govt

October 28, 2014 12:33 am | Updated November 17, 2021 07:05 am IST - HYDERABAD:

The three member committee set up by the Press Council of India (PCI) to probe the threats to media in Telangana has asked the state government to immediately take steps to ensure that the Multiple Systems Operators (MSOs) withdraw their ‘illegal blackout’ of TV 9 and ABN Andhra Jyothy in the interest of the freedom of the media and people’s right to know as enshrined in the Constitution.

The Committee wanted the PCI and the Government of India to impress upon the Telangana chief minister that holding out blatant threats to media and media personnel violated the oath of office he took to protect the Constitution and follow the rule of law. The chief minister should be directed to restrain himself from making provocative statements against journalists or in saluting organisations which seek to limit the flow of information to people on the basis of domicile status.

The committee comprising Rajeev Ranjan Nag (convenor), Krishna Prasad and K. Amarnath (members) enquired into the remarks made by K. Chandrasekhar Rao in Warangal on September 9. The committee visited Hyderabad and Warangal. The committee members met the Warangal collector and held a public hearing wherein about 100 journalists of print and electronic media expressed their opinions.

The committee’s efforts to meet the chief minister, chief secretary and the DGP to elicit their views proved futile as it couldn’t get appointments. The committee appreciated the courage of journalists in expressing their views fearlessly.

In a release, the committee said based on the evidence it was proved beyond doubt that the Telangana CM did make the statements attributed to him from a public platform that he would break the necks and bury the media persons and that they should salute the Telangana people if they wished to live in the state.

In its recommendations, the committee asked the Telangana government to take immediate steps to create an atmosphere where free and fair journalism could be practiced by print and electronic media without fear of retribution by the state or the sword of ‘business terrorism’ by non state actors. It further wanted all cases registered against journalists for participating in protest actions to be withdrawn or fast tracked. Prompt actions should be taken against the police officials responsible for attacking the journalists and roughing up women journalists.


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