Political parties and the journalists unions which kept quiet over the arrest of two reporters in connection with the report on the Director General of Police V dinesh Reddy’s visit to a godman in the old city of Hyderabad have swung into action after the police booked cases against the editor and resident editor of The Hindu newspaper.
Opposition parties have gone to the extent of demanding removal of the DGP.
The Hyderabad police have booked a case against Siddharth Varadarajan, editor and S Nagesh Kumar (resident editor, Hyderabad) of The Hindu charging them with defaming and harming the image of the police and the DGP through their false and baseless reporting.
The Indian Union of Journalists and Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists have strong condemned the police action. IJU Secretary General D Amar and APUWJ general secretary V Narendra Reddy said that The Hindu had only published a factual report on the visit to the DGP V Dinesh Reddy to the old city to meet Habib Mujtaba Al Aydroos.
Charging the DGP with becoming intolerant towards the media and trying to muzzle it, the union leaders said that it was a direct attack on the freedom of press.
"We urge the government to immediately intervene and revoke the case,” they said.
A delegation of journalists from The Hindu met Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and urged him to look in to the matte and take corrective measures. The delegation complained that the DGP had adopted a vindictive attitude and singled out The Hindu for action.
On the political front, leaders of different parties have condemned the police action.
Telugu Desam Party President and leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu said that the police action tantamount to infringement of the freedom of press. Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Kamalakar Rao also charged the DGP with harassing the journalists for personal reasons.
Ponam Prabhakar and G Vivekananda Reddy, both Congress members of Parliament, Communist Party of India state secretary Dr K Narayana and Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson N Ramachander Rao also strongly condemned the police move.