Citizens meet condemns action against newspaper

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Ahmedabad, Jun 6 (UNI) A citizens meet was organised here to protest the sedition charges against Times of India and to uphold the freedom of expression.

People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) general secretary Gautam Thaker informed that a large number of people had attended the meeting.

A charge of sedition has been filed against the Ahmedabad edition of Times of India after the newspaper carried reports on the city police commissioner O P Mathur's alleged nexus with the underworld.

The meeting, held last evening, passed a resolution demanding immediate revocation of the sedition and conspiracy charges slapped against the newspaper. The charge the Times of India is a matter of great concern for all the democratic minded people in the society, the resolution said.

Registering the case against Times of India is a deliberate action of the police to suppress the voice of dissent of the press and create an atmosphere of panic in the state where violation of human and democratic rights are becoming a regular practice of the police and the state government, the resolution added.

Mr Mathur's action in slapping sedition charges against the newspaper reflects his undemocratic character and audacity to equate himself as government established by law, the resolution read.

The resolution said if Mr Mathur has acted with the approval of the government, it exposes how the state attempts to suppress democratic dissent.

''The role of media as the watchdog of democracy and its role to disseminate right information to the citizen is always indispensable, which we consider the Times of India has been performing. Hence we demand withdrawal of the charge of sedition and conspiracy immediately and institution of a high-level judicial inquiry into the charges against Mr Mathur,'' the resolution said.

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