Chhattisgarh: PUCL Demands Strict Action for Assaults on Journalists


By Muslim Mirror Staff

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Chhattisgarh strongly denounced the attack on senior journalist Kamal Shukla and other media personnel by politically-backed persons in Kanker district in Chhattisgarh. 

Kamal Shukla had led a statewide campaign for a Journalist Protection Law that received tremendous support from media persons. The Congress Party had promised to pass this law.

In a statement on Saturday, PUCL state secretary Shalini Gera, said that even after a year of assuming power in the state, the Congress Party has not moved to pass the law. Instead, its hoodlums are carrying out violent attacks against Kamal Shukla.

As per the reports, journalist Satish Yadav was beaten up and dragged from a riverside hotel in Kanker by state government-supported assailants, who took him to the police station 200 metres away and continued to thrash him inside the police station.

Shukla, along with 20 other journalists, had assembled at the Kanker Police Station to protest the frequent assaults on scribes. “At the same time, more than 300 anti-social elements gathered there and brutally assaulted Shukla and other journalists right in front of the local police, within the premises of the police station and right outside it”, the PUCL statement reads.

The very fact that this happened in broad daylight in such a public place, under the benevolent gaze of the police, proved that the attackers had full protection from the administration and the police, the statement said.

Kamal Shukla had been continuously exposing corruption amongst government officials and also highlighting the illegal sand mining mafia through his writings. He had received death threats prior to this incident. This is not a simple, spontaneous attack on him by an angry crowd, but a carefully planned and premeditated assault, it said.

PUCL has demanded the following:

1. Full protection to be provided to Kamal Shukla, Satish Yadav and other journalists.

2. An independent inquiry be conducted into this incident, and the attackers should be punished.

3. An inquiry should be held into the inaction of the Kanker Police Station and its biased conduct.

4. A substantive meaningful legislation regarding the Chhattisgarh Journalist Protection Act should be passed as soon as possible.


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