IJU Condemns Attacks On Scribes, Demands Separate Law For Their Protection

Hyderabad/Chandigarh, March.3 (Maxim News): Indian Journalists Union (IJU) said attacks on journalists in country, particularly those covering recent violent clashes in Delhi between the pro and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protestors, indicating the urgent need to enact a separate law for protection of journalists.

In a pressnote here on Tuesday, IJU president K Sreenivas Reddy and Secretary-General Balwinder Singh Jammu said the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union, at its meeting in Lucknow on February 29 and March 1 passed a resolution condemning frequent shutdown of Internet in various parts of the country, including Delhi and North-Eastern States citing security reasons.

The NEC welcomed the recent ruling of the Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice C K Prasad recognizing K Sreenivas Reddy as president and Balwinder Singh Jammu as secretary-general of the Indian Journalists Union and rejecting the claim of the splinter group.

The NEC resolution said, “The IJU is appalled over the behaviour a section of the violent mob in Delhi in which several journalists, including three of them seriously, injured in the recent violence which demanded the working journalists from print and electronic media to prove their religious identity.” The Uttar Pradesh Minister for Law Brajesh Pathak, who inaugurated the NEC meeting on February 29, assured that he would take up the issue restoration of Working Journalists Act with appropriate authorities at the Centre. He said the media was an essential part of democratic governance and assured that the State government would strive to improve the working and living conditions of the working journalists in the State. The NEC resolution also strongly resented the partial restoration of Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir even after the Supreme Court declared Internet as a fundamental right and urged on the Government of India to immediately restore Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir without insisting on access to only ‘white listed’ websites.

In another resolution, the National Executive Committee urged upon the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to exempt the working journalists from toll tax on all the National Highways for discharging their professional duty of news gathering effectively. In a resolution, Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly opposed the decision of the Government of India to revoke the Working Journalists Act 1955 and bring the working journalists and other newspaper employees under the Labour Code and

Wage Code along with other workers and employees. Saying that the proposal of the government put an end to special rights and protection enjoyed by the working journalists under the Act, the union demanded its immediate restoration. It also demanded the constitution of new wage board to revise the wages of working journalists as it was long overdue.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) noted that some of those who were misled by the disruptors came back to the fold of the union and called upon the remaining few to join the family of IJU and contribute their mite for protection of freedom of the press, freedom of expression and other democratic rights which are under attack.(Maxim News)

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