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Journalist bodies condemn show cause notice to TV channels


New Delhi, Aug 8: Various journalist bodies today expressed shock over the show cause sent by Information and Broadcasting Ministry to three television channels on the issue of airing stories relating to Yaqub Memon's hanging and condemned the government's "attempt to intimidate" the media by such action.

"It is shameful that cable TV rules have been invoked to question the right of the media to air views or do stories that run contrary to the decisions of the government and the Supreme Court on capital punishment in general and Memon’s case in particular.

Notice to TV channels: Govt faces flak

"We are shocked that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is party to such an assault on free speech. The action betrays an insecurity and intolerance on the part of the government.

"We urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and immediately withdraw the notices which had been issued in the context of Yakub’s hanging," said a joint statement issued by the journalist bodies," said a joint statement issued by the journalist organisations.

They were referring to the show-cause notices issued to three leading TV channels, ABP News, NDTV 24x7 and Aaj Tak, for their coverage of Yakub Memon’s hanging.

The associations said the government should respect media’s responsibility to reflect diverse opinions, even on sensitive issues such as death penalty, national security and communal harmony.

"The fact that Yakub’s funeral went off peacefully nails the suggestion in the show cause notices that the media reports in question had stoked trouble and incited violence," the statement said.

The signatories to the statement were: Nadeem Kazmi (Press Club of India), T K Rajalakshmi (Indian Women’s Press Club), Jatin Desai (Mumbai Press Club), Nava Thakuria (Guwahati Press Club), Sujata Madhok (Delhi Union of Journalists) , Geeta Seshu (Brihatmumbai Union of Journalists)


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