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54 Journalists attacked in India in the span of 16 months by “lawmakers and law enforcers”, says Report

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An Indian man reads a newspaper in front of a newsstand in New Delhi, India, March 15, 2016. VOA
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New Delhi, May 3, 2017: As many as 54 attacks on journalists were reported in 16 months, mainly by “lawmakers and law enforcers”, a report compiled by media watchdog Hoot said on Tuesday, a day ahead of the World Press Freedom Day.

The report said the actual figure could be much higher as a minister told Parliament that “142 attacks on journalists took place between 2014-15”.

“The stories behind each of these attacks reveal a clear and persistent pattern. Investigative reporting is becoming increasingly dangerous. Journalists who venture out into the field to investigate any story, be it sand mining, stone quarrying, illegal construction, police brutality, medical negligence, eviction drive, election campaigns, or civic administration corruption are under attack,” it said.

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The attacks were committed by political parties and their leaders (8), police (9), and mobs resisting media coverage (9).

Apart from attacks, the report took into account invocation of sedition law, suspension of Internet services in a region, self-censorship on part of media companies, censoring of films and other arts, among other instances which may frustrate free functioning of the media.

The shutdown of the printing presses of two Kashmir newspapers after the killing of militant Burhan Wani, and the ban on Kashmir Reader for three months during the same period, were cited in the report as instances of media censorship.

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Other such instances included a one-day ban on NDTV news channel for its coverage of the Pathankot attack last January, which “… supposed to have revealed strategic information about the operation”.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry however put the ban on hold after the channel approached the Supreme Court.

The sedition law was also used unsparingly and “went viral”, as the report said.

“A large number of cases were filed — 18 between January and June last year. By the end of the year, the figure was 40,” it said.

The media watchdog cited examples of killings of Right to Information (RTI) activists, and appointment of ‘bureaucrats’ as Chief Information Commissioners instead of “persons of eminence in public life”, as the concerned Act says.

“Currently, 91.6 per cent of Chief Information Commissioners in states are retired bureaucrats, as are 93 per cent of Central Information Commissioners,” the report said.

Jammu and Kashmir suffered the longest and bans on Internet services the most — 13 times in 16 months, with Haryana coming second with Internet suspension nine times in as many months. (IANS)

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Anna Hazare to initiate mass awakening through his Jan-Jagran Yatra

The prime motive of his new organization is to carry out a Jan-Jagran Yatra throughout the country to awaken the masses

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Hazare is said to follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and aims to root out corruption from the country.
Hazare is said to follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and aims to root out corruption from the country. Wikimedia Commons

Once again Anna Hazare has come into the forefront to put resistance to the every growing mismanagement at the administrative level. Hazare is said to follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and aims to root out corruption from the country.

According to the media report by PTI, social activist Anna Hazare has come up with his new 20-member `National Core Committee’ ahead of his March 23 agitation in Delhi. Hazare has aimed to expand his party up to 40-50 members.

Also Read: BJP Protests Outside Sisodia’s Residence, Demands Kejriwal’s Resignation

The prime motive of his new organization is to carry out a Jan-Jagran Yatra throughout the country to awaken the masses.

Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

All the party members hail from various states of the country. In a move to curb any wrongdoing on any one’s behalf, everyone in the party is made to sign affidavits stating that they would never join a political party or contest elections.

He also asserted on the point that, he doesn’t want anyone from his new party to turn out like Arvind Kejriwal and thus he has made every member of the core group to sign the affidavit.

Also Read: Delhi government employees to observe 5-minutes silence as protest every day

In the coming days, Anna Hazare will be protesting in Delhi for raising the issue of “competent Lokpal” and to highlight farmer’s problems.

Anna Hazare came to light in 2011, when he raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. It was only after this; Kejriwal associated himself with Hazare and grabbed the opportunity to launch him into elections and launched the Aam Aadmi Party.

The members list as per PTI report includes Akshaykumar (Odisha), Commander Yashwant Prakash (Rajasthan), Colonel Dinesh Nain (Delhi), Manindra Jain (Delhi), Vikram Taparwada (Rajasthan), Dasharath Kumar (Rajasthan), Karanveer Thaman (Punjab), Praveen Indian (Uttar Pradesh), Sunil Fauji (Uttar Pradesh), Gauravkant Sharma (Uttar Pradesh), Rakesh Rafiq (Uttar Pradesh), P N Kalki (Uttar Pradesh), Sushil Bhatt (Uttarakhand), Bhopal Singh Chaudhary (Uttarakhand), Naveen Jaihind (Haryana), Shivaji Khedkar (Maharashtra), Kalpana Inamdar (Maharashtra), Ram Naik (Karnataka), Serfi Flago (Arunachal Pradesh) and Sunil Lal (Uttar Pradesh).