Groundxero Report | 16th October, 2023
A joint statement condemning the brazen attacks on journalists and the muzzling of democratic organs was issued to the Press on 16th October 2023 by the Platform of Central Trade Unions/Sectoral Federations/Associations (CTUs) and Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).
The statement was issued in the context of the raids on 3rd October, 2023 by the Delhi police on the Newsclick media offices and the arrests of its founder editor Prabir Purkayastha and HR head Amit Chakravarty, and raids conducted in 46 houses including those of eminent journalists like Abhisar Sharma, Bhasha Singh, Urmilesh, Aunindyo Chakravarty, Sohail Hashmi.
The Central Trade Unions and Samyukt Kisan Morcha said that they stand by the victimised journalists, writers, intellectuals, satirists and the stand-up comedians who have been fearlessly expressing their views in support of the common masses and exposing the ruling dispensation’s misdeeds, corruption.
The statement by CTUs and SKM has been republished below.
CTUs and SKM Condemn the Brazen Attacks on Journalists and the Muzzling of Democratic Organs
The brazen raids on the offices of Newsclick media offices and the arrests of eminent journalists, Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty and raids conducted in 46 houses including those of Abhisar Sharma, Bhasha Singh, Urmilesh, Aunindyo Chakravarty, Sohail Hashmi in Delhi on 3rd October, 2023 need to be condemned in the strongest terms. It is not surprising that the reasons given include the coverage given to historic Kisan Movement, the Anti-CAA Movement and so on!
We stand by the victimised journalists, writers, intellectuals, satirists and the stand-up comedians who have been fearlessly expressing their views in support of the common masses and exposing the ruling dispensation’s misdeeds, corruption.
The journalists and the media is known as the ‘fourth estate’ in a democratic set-up. They are the conscience-keepers of the society. Freedom of expression is one of the vital fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution and needs to be protected in the interest of a healthy and vibrant democracy.
The raids conducted at the residences and the offices of several social media activists and confiscating their mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices and tools and arresting them under the draconian provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) that deny even the basic right to secure bail against the arbitrary arrest by the State, is a blatant misuse of state power by the BJP Government. This is nothing short of creating a fear-psychosis among the bonafide journalist Community which amounts to muzzling of democracy in our country. These acts also deprive the Rights of the people to have access to authentic information and news from the print and electronic media, including the ‘social media’ in our country.
We stand by the Editors Guild of India, and the Press Club of India, the working journalists & reporters, and the social media activists in this hour of crisis.
It is heartening that demonstrations were held across the Country condemning these arrests and demanding ouster of Modi Government in 2024.
This is an act in the long chain where the Central Government has used its executive powers in blatant disregard of the rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution, with a single aim to silence all voices of opposition prior to the election in 2024.
Platform of Central Trade Unions and
Samyukt Kisan Morcha