The Kerala Chief Minister’s office has issued instructions for the immediate release of over 15 journalists from Malayalam news outlets.

CM Pinarayi intervenes for immediate release of Kerala journos detained in Mangaluru
news CAA Friday, December 20, 2019 - 11:59

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office has issued instructions to top officials in the state to take steps for the immediate release of media persons from Malayalam news outlets detained in Mangaluru on Friday. Top administrative brass of Kerala, including Director General of Police, Home Secretary and Chief Secretary of the state have reportedly received direct instructions from the CM’s office. 

In a Facebook post on Friday, CM Pinarayi Vijayan also condemned the against the restrictions on media freedom and the action taken against the Karnataka police. "All kinds of intervention will be conducted to ensure the security of Malayali media workers who went to report news in Mangaluru. State police chief is connected to the Karnataka police to ensure that the reporters are relased from custody. I strongly condemn those who have been portraying media reporters as violent and their news collection devices as weapons. It is a fascist attitude to curb media freedom. Public dissent should only rise higher against this attitude," Pinarayi's post read. 

Over 15 journalists from prominent Malayalam news outlets such as Asianet, Manorama, News18 and Mathrubhumi were were detained by the Mangaluru police on Friday. They were covering the post mortem of the two people who died in police firing amidst Thursday’s anti-CAA protests. According to the City Police Commissioner, the journalists were detained outside Wenlock hospital as they were not carrying ‘accreditation cards’ issued by any authority. 

As on 12:30 pm on Friday, the detained media persons were still kept in police vans by the Mangaluru police. 

Acting on the instructions from the CMO, Kerala DGP Loknath Behera has announced that prompt measures would be taken for the immediate release of the journalists who have been detained. Speaking to media persons in the state capital, the DGP assured that “all those persons who have not indulged in any violence and were at the spot to do their job will be checked and released by the police.” The Kerala DGP also stated that he got in touch with the DGP of Karnataka to discuss the issue. 

Meanwhile, KC Venugopal, All India Congress Committee General-secretary in Karnataka condemned the detainment of the reporters in Mangaluru. 

"If Narendra Modi and Amit Shah thinks that they can curb the protest by banning internet, by using lathi, firing, stopping metro services, they are mistaken. In Karnataka, there was no situation to shoot down the protestors. And why are the journalists being detained for this? This is fascism. They are trying to put out news which only favours them. They give utmost freedom to those channels which stand by the government, but those channels who report facts are being tagged as anti-nationals. Our country has proved that these kind of things cannot bring down public protests. Modi and Amit Shah are yet to understand that." he told the media.

 

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