New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India condemned the Uttar Pradesh government’s action of filing FIR against journalist Pawan Jaiswal for his report on mid-day meal where he had exposed that mere rotis and salt were being served to the school kids in Siyur Primary School of Mirzapur district.
The Guild said that it is a cruel and classic case of shooting the messenger.
“It is precisely exposes such as these that show how valuable free and fearless journalists are to a democratic society. It is shocking that instead of taking action to fix what is wrong on the ground, the government has filed criminal cases against the journalist (sic),” stated the Guild.
The Uttar Pradesh government has booked the journalist Pawan Jaiswal for criminal conspiracy.
On August 23, around 100 students of a government school were seen eating roti with salt as their mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district.
The Guild said that even if the government believes that his report is wrong, there are easy and conventional redresses available and that using the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and police is no way to respond to this.
“The Guild urges that the state government withdraw these cases forthwith and ensure that the journalist is not put to any further harm or harassment,” the statement read.
The statement also included the recent incidents where journalists were denied overseas travel.
“The law does indeed give the government such powers but only in the rarest of rare cases and following due procedure and disclosure. There must be transparency in these decisions,” said the Guild.