UP has seen increasing crackdown on journalists recently, with the administration penalising and incarcerating journalists to keep them from reporting on covid-19 mismanagement and state excesses.
Recently a journalist was assaulted by the Chief Development Officer (CDO), Divyanshu Patel, in Unnao District, UP on July 10th, 2021. The journalist, Krishna Tiwari was covering the polls for the Block Pramukh Elections. A video has gone viral showing how he was beaten by the CDO as well as some BJP members. While the CDO has apologized to the journalist since the incident, there has been no action taken by the state on the matter.
In a statement put out by the Editors Guild of India, a group of editors who have taken up issues on threats to press freedom over the years, they have demanded that strict action be taken against the CDO, and that “concrete steps be taken to improve the environment for independent journalism in the state. The Editors Guild also mentioned the arrest of journalist Siddique Kappan as another example of the state’s crackdown on journalists. Kappan was arrested while he was on his way to report on the Hathras case that took place last year. He was arrested under the draconian UAPA and still remains in jail to this day.
"Editors Guild of India is deeply disturbed by the continuing trend of heavy-handedness by the state authorities in #UttarPradesh with respect to journalists and media," tweets Editors Guild of India. pic.twitter.com/vQfu2WkvRQ
— NDTV (@ndtv) July 12, 2021
“This attitude of heavy handedness by the administration by the administration is hurting the democratic rights of the media, which becomes all the more crucial given that the state goes into polls next year”- As per the statement.