DELHI UNION OF JOURNALISTS
F-29, New Central Market, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110 001
September 2, 2013
STOP MEDIA BASHINGS -- DUJ
The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) condemns the increasing cases of attacks on both the electronic and the print media by supporters of the Asaram Bapu following allegations of sexual assault on a young girl .
It has called upon the government both at the centre and state not only to immediately take stern action against those responsible for the attacks but to ensure a risk insurance cover for all journalists taking into account the increasing attacks on the press. It has called for immediate steps to ensure a national law codified by an Act of Parliament to ensure protection of working journalists be they from print or electronic media. The DUJ has further called upon all the states to immediately announce state protection laws taking in view the climate of intolerance and increased press bashing. This is all the more important because of coming elections to select states and not so far off in the centre with attempts to whip up a frenzy dividing people on caste and divisive lines.
In a joint statement today DUJ President Sujata Madhok and General Secretary S.K. Pande said our Ethics and Gender Councils warns against the blind adoration of false gurus and godmen. We however urge colleagues in the media to keep the spotlight on the prosecution but eschew sensationalism. The DUJ condemns all political interference in the case. We also call for adequate protection to the minor girl and her family so that they can pursue the case without undue pressure from various quarters.
We congratulate the media for its successful campaign to ensure the arrest of Asaram Bapu who is accused of raping a minor devotee in his Ashram. The so-called godman’s reputation already stood tarnished by dubious goings on in his premises, including the alleged murder of two small boys. However he and his followers had so far escaped investigation.
The DUJ is alarmed at the reported violent attack on an IBN7 reporter and cameraperson by Asaram’s followers who caused them bleeding injuries. We severely condemn all such attacks on journalists who are simply doing their job by reporting events. We also note that attacks have taken place already at various places.
(S K Pande)