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Legislators and politicians intimidating and threatening journalists in Chhattisgarh

HRD and Journalists

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 8th November 2021 regarding the intimidation of journalists by ruling party MLAs and politicians in a bid to stop them from reportage and to muzzle free speech in Chhattisgarh.

Congress workers’ conference was held at Jaspur where two factions of the party started fighting with each other on October 24, 2021. The entire incident was recorded by journalists and was shared this incident in social media and forced to answer to the political party as well as to the state government of the questions. 

District Congress Committee President Mr. Manoj Sagar Yadav registered a complaint on his own letterhead against the journalist on October 26, 2021. In the complaint, he demanded that police should lodge FIRs against all the journalists, YouTubers, and news media outlets including news portals, web portals, and social media users accusing them of intentionally ruining and denigrate the image of the chief minister and state government and trying to create social disturbances and enmity between the groups.

The party conference in Jashpur was a public event and journalists had been invited to record the proceeding of the events whereas the matter raised by the signatories in the letter pertained to biased reporting which should have been taken into account by the Press Council of India instead of taking action against the letter to sought by the punitive action including the FIRs registrations and arresting to the Journalists and the social media. Such punitive action against media is an incomplete right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under article 19(A) of the Indian Constitution. 

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