Outraged by journalists being increasingly subjected to intimidation, threats, violence and even killings in various parts of the country, scores of journalists held a protest rally and march here on Monday to demand strong action ~ by the Centre as well as states ~ against perpetrators of such crimes.
The protest event was held on 2nd October ~ Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary ~ to
invoke the father of the nation’s enduring message of non-violence and truth.
The protesting media professionals felt that the rising violence against journalists in different parts of the country amounted to a serious assault on freedom of the press and the fundamental right to free speech guaranteed by the Constitution.
They expressed anguish and outrage over the recent killings of veteran journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru and 28-year-old reporter Shantanu Bhowmik in Tripura.
Holding placards and posters, the journalists, wearing black arm-bands, formed a human chain around the Press Club of India (PCI) premises near Parliament House. They subsequently took out a silent march from there to the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC) building nearby.
The event was organised by the PCI, IWPC, Press Association, and Federation of Press Clubs in India.
Similar protest events on the issue were said to have been organised by media organisations and press bodies and clubs across the country.
A petition was also signed by a large number of journalists at the PCI on the occasion, which will be submitted to the Home Minister of India on 5 October. This memorandum urges the Union Home Minister’s intervention for a status report on attacks against journalists in various states and action taken in such cases.
Demanding strong measures by the government, both the Centre and states, to ensure safety and security of journalists, the agitating media professionals have also urged the governments to rein in social media trolls, misogynists and hate-mongers targeting journalists.