New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS): The INDIA bloc on Tuesday condemned the searches at the premises of NewsClick and several journalists associated with it, saying that the government is "paralysed" when it comes to taking action against those journalists inciting hatred and divisiveness in the nation.
In a statement, the opposition bloc said: "INDIA parties strongly condemn the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government’s fresh attack on the media. We steadfastly stand with the media and for the constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and expression."
It pointed out that in the last nine years, the BJP government has deliberately persecuted and suppressed the media by deploying investigative agencies to suppress the BBC, Newslaundry, Dainik Bhaskar, Bharat Samachar, the Kashmir Walla, the Wire etc., and most recently the journalists of NewsClick.
"The BJP government has also tried to convert the media into a mouthpiece for its partisan and ideological interests by facilitating the takeover of media organisations by crony capitalists. Both the government and its ideologically aligned organisations have resorted to reprisals against individual journalists who spoke truth to power," it alleged.
It also said that the BJP government has also spearheaded regressive policies like the Information Technology Rules 2021 that constrict the media from reporting objectively. “In doing so, the BJP is not only hiding its sins of omissions and commission from the people of India. It is also compromising India’s global standing as a mature democracy,” it said.
“The BJP government’s coercive actions are invariably directed against only those media organisations and journalists that speak truth to power. Ironically, the BJP government is paralysed when it comes to taking action against those journalists inciting hatred and divisiveness in the nation. In the national interest, it would behove the BJP government to focus on genuine issues of concern to the nation and the people, and stop attacking the media to distract attention from its failures,” it added.
The strong statement from the INDIA bloc came following the searches at over 30 locations in the national capital, including the premises of NewsClick as well as the residences of its journalists, after the media outlet was accused of receiving funds from China. However, no arrests have been made so far.
The Special Cell had brought several journalists to its office for questioning. During the searches, the Special Cell had also seized electronic evidence, laptops, mobile phones, pen drives and also took data dumps of hard disks from the NewsClick office and the journalists associated with the organisation including Bhasha Singh, Abhisar Sharma and Sanjay Rajoura, among others.