New Delhi: The Editor's Guild of India on Monday condemned the "violence and brutality" on journalists during ongoing protests in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh and said such actions "throttle" the voice of democracy.
Several journalists were detained in both Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka while they were covering the protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act. This included Omar Rashid, a correspondent for The Hindu newspaper who was detained in Lucknow.
In a statement, the Guild said that the forces should remember that journalists are present at protest venues to perform their constitutionally guaranteed duty of gathering news.
"The Editors Guild of India condemns the various acts of violence and brutality committed by police forces, in particular in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, against media persons in different parts of the country in the last one week.
"The Guild reminds the police forces across the country that journalists are present at different venues, where protests are taking place, as part of their constitutionally guaranteed duties of gathering information and disseminating it among the people through their respective media platforms. Using force or physical violence against journalists on duty throttles the very voice of democracy and media freedom," it said.
The Guild asked the Home Ministry to direct police forces to offer protection to journalists and instead of targeting them the need of the hour was to ensure "proper" and "responsible" coverage which they said cannot be achieved by such acts of violence and brutality against journalists on duty.