Following attacks by security forces on journalists covering the gunfight in Kashmir and by Right Wing mobs in Sabarimala event in Kerala on Wednesday, the Delhi Union of Journlaists (DUJ) has urged governments to ensure the safety of mediapersons doing their jobs.
In a statement released on Thursday, DUJ said it was "appalled at the open attacks on reporters, including women reporters of several TV channels and other media, by right wing mobs opposed to the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple".
The violence saw several TV vans and vehicles being attacked by the mobsnopposed to the entry of women into the temple, as sanctioned by the Supreme Court of India.
According to DUJ, CNN reporter Radhika Ramaswamy’s car was attacked by mobs at Nilakkal who surrounded it and shook it violently. Neethu Reghukumar of CNN News was openly threatened by the mobs at Pamba. She reported that three other women reporters were being threatened by the mobs and the police were mute spectators. Kajal K Iyer of Times Now, while reporting in the open, was also surrounded by men who threatened both her and the cameraperson to stop them from reporting live from the area. Sarita Balan of News Minute was assaulted. Republic TV’s Pooja Prasanna, NDTV’s Sneha Mary Koshi and AAJ TAK’s Mausami Singh were also badly attacked by the violent mob.
DUJ urged the Kerala government to take steps to ensure that the leaders of the mobs were arrested and prosecuted at the earliest.
In Kashmir, the security forces attacked around 20 journalists while they were doing their duty. "Some of them have received serious injuries and are under treatment. We urge the Centre and the state administration to take punitive action against the cops who are involved in this violence," the statement read.
Condemning the trend of rising attacks on journalists and impunity to attackers, DUJ demanded that the Union Government enact a law for the protection of journalists and set up fast track courts to punish all those who attack journalists.