The ongoing farmers’ agitation on the borders of National Capital Delhi for the last seventy-four days is demanding the central government for repeal of the three farm laws. Media persons and reporters have been visiting the agitation sites to cover the agitation from ground zero in their professional capacities. However, Mediapersons/ reporters are facing enormous difficulty to visit various spots on Delhi borders.
Balwinder Singh Jammu, Secretary-General, Indian Journalist Union has written a letter highlighting the obstacles placed by the Delhi police, Haryana police and Uttar Pradesh police so as to prevent the entry of journalists and media persons at these borders.
He writes- It is learnt that the behavior of the police is inhumane at times with the press. The media persons have to walk for kilometres to reach the specific spot due to the rigid attitude of the police deployed there. This is happening more following the controversial January 26, 2021 incident at the Red Fort.
Moreover, the police or the administration have not made any arrangements for the day to day press briefing. The media is finding it difficult to access the facts of the protest sites and are unable to ensure the authenticity of the news.
Considering all the above points and sensitivity of the matter, we are looking forward to the Union Home Ministry to give required directions to the high officials of Delhi, Haryana and UP police. We are also looking forward to them passing on the directions to the force deployed on the borders to facilitate media persons to perform their duty; thus cooperating in maintaining freedom of press in an appropriate manner. The concerned administrations must make arrangements for the press briefings so that the chances of misinformation could also be zeroed down.