New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani tonight condemned the attack on media during violence in Panchkula but at the same time advised news channels to refrain from “causing panic, distress and undue fear”.
“Attack on media, damage to property condemnable. Appeal to all to maintain peace,” she said in a tweet.
Attack on media, damage to property condemnable. Appeal to all to maintain peace.
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) August 25, 2017
At the same time, she added, “Drawing attention of news channels to clause B of Fundamental Std of NBSA (News Broadcasting Standards Authority) refraining channels from causing panic, distress & undue fear.”
Media persons and assets were targeted in Panchkula when followers of Ram Rahim went on the rampage after he was convicted in a rape case.
Meanwhile, the Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) today condemned the attack on media persons allegedly by the followers of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and asked the governments of Haryana and Punjab to ensure safety and freedom of the journalists.
The BEA demands immediate steps for safety and security of media persons as democracy cannot afford to allow anybody to hold the rule of law to ransom, said a statement issued by the association.
“Any such attack is an attempt to prevent media from discharging its legitimate duty of dissemination of information, a duty that is vital to the healthy functioning of a democracy,” it added.
The BEA said the governments of Haryana and Punjab should ensure the safety and freedom of media persons to report the incident.
The central government should also step in to ensure free and fair coverage by all media, it said.
The NUJ demanded urgent action to nab the culprits and wanted the Haryana government to ensure that such incidents would not recur.