June 10, 2019 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: The Uttar Pradesh police have arrested two journalists for allegedly defaming state’s chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The police action has concerned Editors Guild of India (EGI). In a statement issued on Sunday (June 9), the EGI condemned the arrest of Noida-based journalist Prashant Kanojia and the editor and head of a NOIDA-based television channel, Nation Live – Ishita Singh and Anuj Shukla- by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Mr Kanojia has been accused of uploading a post on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the social media and the Nation Live head and editor have been charged with having aired a video on the UP chief minister.
The editors’ body siad that the police action is high-handed, arbitrary and amounts to an authoritarian misuse of laws. The Guild sees it as an effort to intimidate the press, and stifle freedom of expression.
“The FIR is based on the journalist sharing on Twitter the video of a woman claiming a “relationship” with the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The television channel had broadcast a video on the same issue. Whatever the accuracy of the woman’s claims, to register a case of criminal defamation against the journalists for sharing it on the social media and airing it on a television channel is a brazen misuse of law. To give the police powers to arrest, provisions of Section 66 of the IT Act have also been added”, reads the EGI statement.
“As with a recent case in Karnataka that the Guild spoke about, the FIR in this case is also not filed by the person allegedly affected but suo motu by the police. This is a condemnable misuse of law and state power”, the statement reads further.