New Delhi: The Press Club of India (PCI) expressed concern about a series of incidents of harassment and intimidation against journalists who are “not toeing” fascist Modi’s government line of thinking on public policy matters.
The PCI’s demands came after Shahid Tantray, a journalist working with ‘The Caravan’ magazine accused the police in IIOJK of harassing him over his article on the Army’s interference in activities in Kashmir. The PCI demanded an immediate inquiry against the J&K Police for “unleashing criminal intimidation” against Tantray and the latter be reinstated in Srinagar as a reporter.
Tantray claimed that he and his family were being intimidated by the police for writing articles on daily developments in Kashmir. The journalist body also urged Indian government and Lieutenant Governor of the occupied territory Manoj Sinha to immediately intervene to safeguard the freedom of the press and stop further harassment and targeted witch hunting of journalists.
The 2021 ‘World Press Freedom Index’ by Reporters Without Borders has ranked India at 142 out of 180 countries, calling it “one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.” Article 19 (a) of Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression but BJP supporters and Hindutva ideology have created an environment of intimidation for journalists who are critical of the government by labelling them as “anti-national” or “anti-state”.
Journalists are exposed to every kind of attack, including police violence against reporters, ambushes by political activists, and reprisals instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials. From May 2019 to August 2021, 256 journalists were attacked for doing their job. Journalism has become a crime in India. Web Desk