PCI demands withdrawal of ‘bogus cases’ against The Wire, urges UP CM Yogi not to treat media freedom lightly
‘The country needs refreshing leadership initiatives, not boorish vindictiveness, that bolster the democratic ethos, particularly in a time of national crisis,’ said the letter written by PCI to UP CM
Raising concern over the FIR lodged by the UP police against The Wire and its founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan, the Press Club of India (PCI) has shot off a letter to the UP CM, urging Centre and the state government not to treat “freedom of media lightly”.
“We urge the PM and the HM to direct all arms of authority at the Centre and in the states to not treat media freedoms lightly,” reads the letter written by the PCI. The PCI, through its letter, demanded “withdrawal of bogus cases against Varadarajan without delay”.
Stating that the role of an independent media is essential in fighting the pandemic, the PCI said, “The country needs refreshing leadership initiatives, not boorish vindictiveness, that bolster the democratic ethos, particularly in a time of national crisis.”
“The Press Club of India views with rising concern actions of the UP government and UP Police that are evidently directed at muzzling the media from doing its work. This takes away one of the key definitions of democracy,” asserted the PCI.
Saying that “the news report in The Wire was a purely factual account of the event in Ayodhya on March 25”, PCI said that it was a case of wrong “attribution” which was corrected immediately.
“We think it is unlikely this would have been the case without encouragement from your administration,” emphasized the PCI adding, “False charges push the limits of absurdity and appear to be motivated. They do not flow from the report in question. The wider effect – perhaps intended – they have is to inhibit other media from questioning the actions of your administration and police for fear of similar retaliation.”