Law for Protection of Journalists and HRDs: Draft Circulated


The 2-day Citizen’s Convention on Press, People & State concluded  yesterday, june 26 with the finalisation of the ‘Draft Law’ for the Protection of Journalists & Human Rights Defenders, incorporating almost all the amendments suggested during the first day of the Convention by the participants ranging from lawyers, former judges, journalists, writers, leaders of various political parties and trade unions, social movements, people’s organisations, NGOs and Social Action Groups.
The Draft Law was finally released for public debate, providing space for receiving comments and suggestions from various concerned groups and individuals, before submitting it to the State government of Chhattisgarh through its Chief Minister as also to the Speaker of the State Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). The Draft Law would also be submitted to the Governor of Chhattisgarh, and the leader of the Opposition in Vidhan Sabha. Efforts are under way to introduce it in the forthcoming Monsoon Session of Vidhan Sabha on July 11, 2016.
The final draft was presented by advocate Sudha Bhardwaj, General Secretary, PUCL, Chhattisgarh, who has played a significant role in its drafting along with advocate Shalini Gere. A concerted campaign would now be carried out throughout the state by participating organisation to build a firm public opinion in its favour.
Remembering Emergency Rule in India ( 1975-77), the Chhattisgarh PUCL celebrated the hard earned Freedom of Press by Felicitating several journalists at this occasion with the "Nirbheek Patrakarita Samman " (Honour for Fearless Journalism) underlining their courage and commitment to free and fearless reporting in a rather hostile environment created by various repressive measures of the BJP Government in Chhattisgarh.
Those who were felicitated are:
Rajkumar Soni (Raipur), Uttam Kumar (Durg), Nitin Sinha (Raigarh), Devsharan Tiwari (Bastar), Pushpa Usendi Bakda (Beejapur), Malini Subramaniam (Jagdalpur), Dinesh Soni (Raipur), Sovjeet Bagchi (Kolkota), Anil Mishra (Raipur), Prabhat Singh (Bastar), Linga Ram Kodopi (Dantewada), Alok Putul (Raipur), Kranti Rawat (Udaypur) , Tameshwar Sinha (Raipur) and Deepak Jaiswal (Bastar).
The reality of repression of journalists  who reported fearlessly against the un-constitutional and criminal activities of the state machinery, illegal activities by the corporate sector and communal organisations have been the focus of national debate; two of the journalists felicitated had been released on bail just a few days ago, and had joined the felicitations coming straight from prison: Prabhat Singh and Deepak Jaiswal.
Those who felicitated these journalist included: Sri Anand Swaroop Verma, senior journalist and Chief Editor of Samkaleen Teesri Duniya, New Delhi, Sri Anand Mishra, a well-known Socialist leader from Bilaspur, Sri Chittaranjan Bakshi, senior leader of the CPI, Sri Nand Kumar Kashyap, senior leader of CPI(M), Soni Sori of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Lakhan Singh, President, Chhattisgarh PUCL, Sri Arvind Netam, former cabinet minister, etc.
Earlier in the Session, Emergency Rule in India was remembered on its 41st Anniversary by Sri Anand Mishra, a MISA detainee, and many others drawing parallel to the present day reality of undeclared Emergency Rule in the country, being ruthlessly imposed by a criminal combine of Corporate-Fascist-Dictatorial regime, hitting at the very root of Secular-Democratic-Socialist Republic as enshrined in the Constitution of India.
A pledge to fight for the Freedom of the Press with vigour was taken by all present. Liberation songs and poetry against fear and repression also formed integral part of the day’s celebrations. 



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