In a statement, issued on April 19, by National Alliance of Journalists has condemned the attacks on women journalists this week.
“The incidents reflect the special targeting of media women, be it through physical violence, vicious trolling on social media, the filing of court cases or the subtle aggression displayed in direct interactions by politicians and others in power today,” it read.
According to National Alliance of Journalists, the attacks on women journalists range from a petrol bomb thrown at an editor’s home, death threats to a cartoonist for her critique of Hindutva, and the patronizing pat on the cheek of a woman journalist by the Governor of a state.
Patricia Mukhim, veteran journalist and editor of the Shillong Times, was attacked by unknown persons, who hurled a petrol bomb at her home on April 17. She was lucky enough to have escaped with just minor injuries.
Swathi Vadlamudi, cartoonist for The Hindu, who cartoons commenting on the Kathua and Unnao rapes went viral, faced the wrath of right wing elements. An FIR has been filed against her by Hyderabad Police on April 16.
Another incident in Chennai on April 17 witnessed an offensive gesture by the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit at a Press Meet. When Lakshmi Subramanian, a correspondent with The Week, asked Purohit some difficult questions, he chose not to reply but instead patted her on the cheek.
The press release demands an immediate investigation against the petrol bomb throwers and an unconditional apology from the governor. It also reprehends the attack on the freedom of speech and expression. The journalists have demanded withdrawal of FIR against Swathi.