The Editors Guild of India in a statement issued on Monday said that it is “deeply concerned by the growing tendency among police in various states to take cognisance of frivolous charges against journalists and convert them” into a FIR.

The statement comes after the recent case of an FIR being filed against senior journalist Vinod Dua based on a complaint by Naveen Kumar, who was identified as a spokesperson of the BJP.

“The accusations are a brazen attack on his right to free speech and fair comment. An FIR based on this is an instrument of harassment setting off a process that is itself a punishment,” the statement said.

The Guild urged “the police to respect Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms rather than behave in a manner that raises questions on its independence”.