NBA prez writes to Kerala CM following FIR against Mathrubhumi News anchor

MUMBAI: The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has hit out at the Kerala government for the FIR filed against Mathrubhumi News deputy editor, news anchor Venu Balakrishnan by Kollam Police.

In a letter to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, NBA president Rajat Sharma said that the police action against the anchor, based on the FIR, is unacceptable and an attack on the freedom of the press.

He requested the state administration to ensure that journalists and media persons are allowed to perform their duties in a free and fearless manner.

Mathrubhumi News Television, a member of the NBA, had brought to the notice of the NBA that the Kollam Police in Kerala has registered an FIR against Balakrishnan following a complaint filed by local leaders of DYFI, the youth wing of the ruling CPI (M).

The FIR was filed under Section 153 A of IPC for initiating a discussion on the channel on 7th June in the Super Prime Time on an incident involving the torture of a young Muslim by the Police and the ruckus in the State Assembly following Police atrocities.

Sharma noted “that the opening sentences of the anchor’s comment was taken out of context and a case foisted against him”.

“While the NBA maintains that no individual or institution is above the law, it condemns any attempt to muzzle the media and causing any interference in the free functioning of news operations. Such a move also undermines the basic tenets of free speech enshrined in the Constitution of India,” Sharma stated.

“Media is providing a service that is essential for any democratic society and keeps the public informed and hence must be protected by the law enforcing agencies. NBA considers the police action against the anchor, based on the FIR, unacceptable and an attack on the freedom of the press.”

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