New Delhi: First it was TDSAT and now it’s the turn of Press Council of India (PCI) on slamming the conduct of Telangana CM K Chandrasekar Rao for his hate speech against Media and his governments illegal act of arm twisting the Media by forcing the MSOs of Telangana to terminate the Signals of two leading News channels TV9 and ABN Andhra Jyothi.
A three-member panel constituted by Press Council of India has recommended that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao be directed to restrain himself from making provocative statements against journalists.
The committee comprising journalists Rajeev Ranjan Nag, K Amarnath and Krishna Prasad was constituted by PCI Chairperson Justice (retd) Markandey Katju to probe threats to the media in Telangana after certain remarks reportedly made by Rao were brought to the Council’s notice.
While listing its findings, the panel noted that “the Chief Minister of Telangana did make the statements attributed to him from a public platform that he would break the necks and bury media persons and that they should salute the Telangana people if they wish to live in Telangana.”
The Committee said that by making these statements from a public platform, the Telangana Chief Minister had violated the letter and spirit of Article 19 (1)(a)(e)and(g) which pertain to freedom of speech and expression, freedom to reside and settle in any part of India and practise any profession.
The Committee recommended that PCI and Central Government should impress upon Rao that “blatant threats to the media and media personnel violates the oath of office he took to protect and defend the Constitution of India and follow the rule of law.”
“The Chief Minister of Telangana should be directed to restrain himself from making provocative statements against journalists or in saluting and supporting organizations which seek to limit the flow of information to the people, on the basis of nativity or domicile status,” the panel recommended in its report.
The report of the three-member committee was placed before the Press Council on Monday and adopted, sources said.
Moreover, in the issue related to termination of Signals of Telugu News channels TV9 and ABN in Telangana by instigate MSOs, the committee said, “The state government should immediately take steps to enable MSOs to withdraw their illegal blackout of TV 9 and ABN Andhra Jyoti in the interest of freedom of media and people’s right to know as enshrined into the constitution.”
Earlier, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) had also condemned the blackout. “Blacking out a licensed channel is an anti democratic action that goes against the Constitutional principles of free speech,” it had said in a statement.