KERALA

Panel for media defence planned

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, NOV. 29. A `media defence committee' would be set up here for safeguarding the right of the people to know and the responsibility of the media to inform, in the wake of increasing incidents of violence against media persons.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of people from various sections of society who gathered at the Press Club today to condemn Saturday's police action against journalists here. The meeting also demanded that all criminal cases registered against media persons in this connection be withdrawn.

Initiating the proceedings, O.N.V. Kurup, poet, said attempts at silencing the media would have disastrous consequences for society. Pointing to the legal implications of the chain of incidents that took place here on Saturday, Varkala Radhakrishnan, MP and a leading lawyer, said there was no genuine ground to accuse the media persons of violating any law of the land. Nor were they responsible for the incident, he maintained.

P. C. Thomas, MP, said the issue of media freedom in Kerala would be raised in the Lok Sabha during the next session, scheduled to commence on December 1. The former Speaker, V. M. Sudheeran, demanded stringent action against the police personnel responsible for taking law into their own hands.

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