Delhi: The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) has severely condemned the beating up of journalists at the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha today, February 20. Reporters, and camera persons who went early morning to cover a scheduled protest by the Samajwadi Party (SP) at the assembly premises were attacked by marshals, to prevent coverage of the event.
Shivpal Yadav and about one hundred of his party MLAs were protesting beside the statue of Chowdhury Charan Singh, the area normally used for such protests. The media usually covers such protests at this spot.
The Assembly’s marshals are mandated to ensure order within the house, not in the area outside it. The police are supposed to manage that area. However, the marshals came out of the building with a reportedly specific aim to beat up both the protesters and the journalists. A marshal was videographed giving orders to attack in order to disrupt the protest. There is sufficient video evidence to prove that the media persons were deliberately attacked.
Interestingly, UP journalists have been complaining that access to the Assembly is being increasingly restricted, with officials refusing to give many of them entry passes. Much worse are the growing attacks on the media in Uttar Pradesh, ranging from raids by various agencies to vindictive prosecutions and arrests for exposing misdeeds by the administration.
The Delhi Union of Journalists, through a press note issued by its president, S.K.Pande and general secretary, Sujata Madhok has expressed shock and outrage by the latest physical attack on mediapersons. The DUJ has demanded an immediate dismissal of those who attacked the media persons.