Attacks on Journalists : press Council ask Chief Secretary and Delhi Police to reply in two weeks
New Delhi : The press Council of India has asked Delhi Police Commissioner and Chief Secretary of Delhi to reply in two weeks on the incidents of several attacks on Media persons covering Communal violence rocking in North-East Delhi.
The press Council of India took Sou-moto cognizance of the complaint given by National Union of Journalists ( India) and Delhi Journalists Association on dated 26-2-2020 through an email.
Mr. Ras Bihari, President, National Union of Journalists and Mr. Rakesh Thapliyal, President, and k P Malik, Secretary, Delhi Journalists Association welcomed the step taken by Press Council of India and hope that Journalists will get justice.
They thanked press Council of India for its efforts to safeguard media persons.
In the letter dated 26-2-2020 by NUJI and DJA it was written that
'The National Union (India) and Delhi Journalists Association strongly condemned the incidents of several attacks on media persons covering communal violence rocking in North-East Delhi since sunday.
According to the information, a journalist working with JK 24X7 news received a bullet injury and two reporters from NDTV were beaten and punched by attackers.
Akash sustained a bullet injury while covering the communal clashes in Maujpur locality and is in hospital where his condition is serious. NDTV journalist Arvind Gunasekar was hit by attackers while he was at one of the spots in North-East Delhi and lost a teeth. His fellow reporter, Saurabh, who tried to shield him, was also punched. A woman journalist has also sustained injuries. we request to Government to probe all the incidents of attacks on media persons and punish the attackers and guilty police officers involve in assaulting them.'
'The NUJ(I)’s demand for the enactment of the Journalists Protection Act is endorsing these incident.' The statement added.
On the bases of these information Press Council of India through a 'Notice for Comments' letter dated 29-4-2020 - 'case no. 44/2020/Sou-moto/B.' addressed to The Chief Secretary, Govt. of Delhi, Delhi. The Secretary Home (Police) Department, Govt. of Delhi, Delhi and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.
has asked them to send their comments with in two weeks.
In his letter Press Council of India has written ' It has been brought to the notice of the Council from NUJI through email dated 26-2-2020 that incidents of several attacks on Media persons covering communal violence rocking in North-East Delhi.
Since the matter prime-facie pertains to free functioning of the press and the statute mandates the press Council of India to preserve the freedom of the press, the Hon'ble Chairman, Press Council of India has viewed the incident with concern and taken suo-moto cognizance of the matter under Regulation 13 of Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) regulations, 1979.
Now therefore, Comments in the matter may please be filed within two weeks from the date of receipt of this letter to enable the Council to proceed further.'
With warm regards
National Union of Journalists (India)
Delhi Journalists Association
1 May 2020
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