Chandrababu Naidu condemns attacks on media in Andhra Pradesh

TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu termed the attacks against journalists in the recent past as 'state-sponsored' and "instigated by Jagan Mohan Reddy".
Chandrababu Naidu
Chandrababu NaiduFile Photo/PTI
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Strongly condemning 'consistent attacks' on the media, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national President Nara Chandrababu Naidu, on Wednesday, February 21, demanded stringent action against those involved. In a letter to the Director General of Police, he demanded action against Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for making "false statements to provoke hatred and enmity among groups only with the sole aim of instigating violence".

"Ever since the YSRCP [YSR Congress Party] came to power there have been consistent state-sponsored attacks on the freedom of the Press, on media houses, journalists and photographers," he said.

The former Chief Minister said that the GO 2430 issued in October 2019 is aimed at suppressing voices, which resulted in murders, physical, and verbal attacks on journalists across the state. This government order granted permission to the Special Commissioner of Information and Public Relations, and Departmental Secretaries to file complaints and issue rejoinders against editors and publishers of newspapers and news channels, pertaining to defamatory news items.

"In the run up to the 2024 election, the YSRCP appears to have unleashed a series of attacks on the media in general and journalists in particular," he added. Recalling the recent attack on a contributor in Amaravathi mandal of Palnadu district on February 14, Naidu said that the crime that the victim committed was that he exposed the sand mafia involving the YSRCP leaders.

Again within four days, on February 18 a photographer of Telugu daily Andhra Jyothy, was brutally attacked right under the nose of Jagan Mohan Reddy during his political meeting at Rapthadu in Anantapur district, he said, adding that regrettably the police remained as mute spectators in both the incidents.

Within two of this incident having taken place, on Monday, February 20, a YSRCP mob attacked the office of Telugu daily Eenadu, in Kurnool, Naidu mentioned in the letter. "A mob led by the Panyam MLA and YSRCP leader K Rambhupal Reddy, pelted the office of the daily with stones and created a situation of fear for almost an hour," he added.

On the same day, a reporter of Andhra Jyothy was physically attacked at Maddikera in Kurnool district when he was on duty covering the YSRCP political meeting, he said. Naidu termed all these attacks are state-sponsored against the freedom of the press and media and "instigated by Jagan Mohan Reddy".

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