New Delhi: The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) condemned the “repeated attacks on journalists” in various states across the country, and drew attention to the recent attack against Kashmiri photojournalist Qisar Mir by security forces.
In a statement issued on Monday, April 5, it said: “We deeply regret the growing antagonism towards media persons who are simply doing their job.”
Referring to the assault on Mir, it said he was merely covering a gunfight, along with other journalists, near Pulwama on April 2, 2021 when he was kicked from behind by a police constable. One of the policemen also pointed a pellet gun at the journalists. The incident was captured on video by a journalist. Several civilians were injured in clashes in the area between the forces and residents. Three militants were killed, the DUJ statement added.
The journalist body also observed that with elections underway in several states, politicians are resorting to attacks on journalists. Union minister Babul Supriyo grabbed the mobile phone of TV9 Bharatvarsh‘s reporter Bipin Chaubey on March 28 when the television crew recorded Supriyo slapping a party worker during electioneering in Kolkata, the DUJ statement recalled.
In Uttar Pradesh, the DUJ statement said that chief minister Yogi Adityanath had used abusive language against an ANI cameraman, and the video of the same is in the public domain.
Drawing attention to the attacks against journalists in Tripura, the journalist union said 23 media persons had been attacked in the last six months, following open threats by no less than chief minister Biplab Deb.
It also recalled that a 5,000-page charge sheet has been filed against Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and several others who were arrested in 2020 while going to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to cover the rape and murder of a Dalit girl. Kappan and others have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act allegedly for planning to incite riots in Hathras, the statement added.
Condemning the assaults on media persons, the DUJ called to put an end to foisted cases against journalists and their subsequent victimisation.