I strongly condemn the recent attack on journalists by the police in Delhi during the recent protests against gangrape at India Gate and Rajpath. The journalists were only covering the events, which it is their fundamental right under the Constitution to do, and in fact that is their duty to the public. Many journalists were targeted by the police, their cameras broken, and many were physically assaulted. This a flagrant attack on democracy in the country, and it is not an isolated incident. Many such incidents are coming to my knowledge from different parts of the country.
Journalists act as agents of the people so that people get correct information about important events and thereby can form rational opinions, which is a sine qua non in a democracy. It is reported that some people in the crowds threw stones at the police, which was of course objectionable. But surely journalists did not throw stones. The police cannot take the plea that they could not distinguish between journalists and non journalists because the journalist were carrying cameras and other equipment which made them clearly distinguishable.
The governments of the Union and all states are therefore called upon to severely punish the police personnel involved in the attacks on journalists, and ensure that such incidents do not recur in future, failing which it will be deemed that they are unable to run the government in accordance with the Constitution, and then the legal consequences in Articles 355 and 356 may follow.
All medical aid to the journalists should also be given immediately.
Chairman, Press Council of India