Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (DV)
Mangalore, May 3: Journalists working for various media in the city took to the streets here on Saturday May 3 protesting against Abhaychandra Jain, state minister for fisheries, sports and youth services, for allegedly threatening a reporter of a Kannada daily.
The protest was organized by the Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists' Union (DKWJU) near the DC's office.
Addressing the protest journalist Govind Belgaumkar said, "This is a democratic nation. The Constitution has provided freedom of expression as our right. Journalists are working within the framework of constitutionally provided rights. We will rise unitedly to protect our rights from suppression. We will strive to protect the freedom of the press. With this protest we need to send a clear message that we will not tolerate any kind of rowdy attitude, muscle power, or money power that are used to suppress the freedom of press."
P B Harish Rai, president of DKWJU said, "Attacks on journalists are repeating over and over again. Police are not ready to file FIR against the minister though there is a strong evidence of the recording of phone conversation. The police are asking the journalist to end the matter through compromise. The chief minister should intervene in this matter immediately and come out with a suitable decision on this issue through the media within two days. The government should also provide adequate protection to reporters, especially for those working in rural areas."
Journalist Ravindra Shetty said, "The government should provide good, supportive environment to protect the freedom of the press. Unfortunately, though the journalists are working within the framework of Constitution, they are being threatened. This should not repeat in future."
Jitendra Kundeshwar said, "Journalists are the ones who form the bridge between the government and the people. Hence attacks on journalists are attacks on people. Threat to a journalist shows the government's goonda attitude. 'Abhaya' means solace, moreover, he is follower of Ahimsa but this attitude shows that he is working against his name and community. We will not tolerate this kind of attitude. Journalists have no protection. It is a complete violation of democracy."
Ramakrishna said, "Though journalists are being threatened with gun, we will answer by pen."
Dayanand Kukkaje, Shrinivas Nayak, Irshad and others were present. A memorandum was submitted to the chief minister through the DC.