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PCI directs Guntur police not to take action against scribes until further orders

Thu, Sep 08, 2016, 07:05 PM
Hyderabad, Sept.8: The Inquiry Committee of the Press Council of India (PCI) on Thursday directed the Guntur District police not to take any ‘precipitate’ action against the Sakshi journalists until further directions in the case where the Mangalagiri police summoned some reporters of the Sakshi to appear before them to disclose sources of their information used in the reports published in the newspaper.

The Inquiry Committee headed by Justice C K Prasad, Chairman of the Council, heard the complaint raised by the Secretary-General of Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Amar Devulapalli in New Delhi on Thursday. On March 22 and again on September 5 this year, the Mangalagiri Police summoned Sakshi Reporters and News-Desk in-charge to appear before them to disclose the source of their stories on the developments in Amaravati Capital region.

The police said some farmers of the region filed complaints against the Sakshi Media and reporters that the rates of their land ‘decreased´ causing financial loss and mental agony to them due to these reports.

Amar Devulapalli, who appeared in person before the Committee, alleged that the summons were issued to the journalists of Sakshi to intimidate them and stifle their voice, which amounted to attack on the freedom of the media. He sought suitable directions from the Council to protect the right of the people to know and the freedom of expression.

Inspector General of Police, South Coastal Zone, N Sanjay and Guntur Rural District Superintendent of Police K Narayan Naik in separate but identical letters sought an adjournment of the hearing of the case as they would be busy with the Assembly and Council sessions commencing from Thursday at Hyderabad. The Inquiry Committee acceded to their request and adjourned the case for the next meeting of the Inquiry Committee to be held in December.

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