New Delhi: In a strongly-worded statement on Tuesday, the Press Club of India demanded that a case filed against two women journalists by Tripura police, allegedly for creating hatred between communities, be dropped.
"The Press Club of India strongly condemns the detention and harassment of two Delhi-based women reporters, Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha by Tripura state police under charges of spreading communal hatred. The reporters were booked for creating hatred between communities for fabricating, concealing the truth," the journalists' body said in a statement.
Condemning the police action against the journalists, the Press Club of India also urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to take cognisance of the human rights violation by Tripura police in detaining the two scribes till night in the police station.
Journalists Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha from HW News Network were covering the recent violence in Tripura. They were detained in Assam on Sunday after a case was filed against them by the Tripura police for "spreading communal disharmony" following their reportage on the vandalism at a mosque in the state.
The two were, however, later released on bail on Monday.
"The Press Club of India demands that the cases are dropped and the media be allowed to carry out their duty independently. The PCI also urges the NHRC to take cognisance of the human rights violation by Tripura police in detaining both reporters till night in the police station, as law ordains that police can't keep a woman detained in police station beyond 6 pm," the journalists' body said.
The Press Club of India noted that this was not the first time that a media person faced harassment at the hands of the Tripura Police.
"Journalist Shyam Meera Singh was booked under the UAPA for reporting on the disturbing incidents unfolding in Tripura," it said.
The journalists' body further noted that the media should be allowed to do their job without any harassment for a democracy to thrive.