The Editors Guild of India on Thursday, 13 August, condemned the attack on the Caravan journalists in Delhi while they were reporting on a complainant in the communal violence in the capital. The Guild also condemned attacks on journalists of Bengaluru India Today, The News Minute and Suvarna News 24X7 in Bengaluru while covering the vandalism and police shooting in the wake of a mob violence in the city.
Calling the attacks “reprehensible”, the Guild said that the freedom of the media to discharge its responsibilities without fear or harassment is an important and indispensable attribute of a functioning democracy.
“The case of assault on journalists working with The Caravan shows a dangerous trend where communally inspired people can assault and harass journalists with impunity in the presence of an indifferent police. The Bengaluru incident also highlights the failure of the law enforcement agencies in maintaining an environment,” the Guild said in the statement.
The body further demanded that the police authorities in Delhi and Bengaluru take cognisance of both the cases and quickly take necessary steps to initiate action against the guilty.
Three Journalists from media outlet The Caravan – Shahid Tantray, Prabhjit Singh and another female journalist, who wished to remain anonymous – were in northeast Delhi’s Bhajanpura area on 11 August, one of the worst-hit areas during the riots, to report on a story related to the violence when they were allegedly surrounded by a mob and physically assaulted.
The woman journalist also alleged that young men surrounded her and took her pictures and videos without her consent, and verbally harassed her.