New Delhi, June 9: A day after Noida-based journalist Prashant Kanojia and editor and head of a Noida-based television channel - Nation Live - Ishita Singh and Anuj Shulka were arrested by the Uttar Police, The Editors Guild of India issued a statement on Sunday condemning the move. Kanojia has been accused of uploading a post on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while others have been charged with airing a video against Adityanath.
Calling the action as police's high handedness and an authoritarian misuse of laws, The Editors Guild of India alleges that arrests are efforts to intimidate the press and stifle 'freedom of expression'. UP Police Books Prashant Kanojia, Independent Journalist, For Posting Against Yogi Adityanath: Reports
According to the video, Kanojia had been accused of sharing a video of a woman who claimed to have a 'relationship' with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. On the contrary, the television channel too has broadcast the same video, for which criminal defamation has been filed against the editor and the channel head.
Here's the Tweet:
The Editors Guild of India has issued a statement pic.twitter.com/fdczdNDwyz
— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) June 9, 2019
The EGI termed the arrest and registration of FIR as brazen misuse of the law. Adding more, the statement adds that police have been allowed to arrest the journalists under provisions of Section 66 of the IT Act, which is surprising.
Reiterating its demand, the EGI sought the defamation law to be decriminalised. It gave the example of Karnataka, where the FIR is not filed by any person allegedly affected, but suo moto by the police, which is condemnable misuse of law and state power.