Campaign

Stop the attempt to intimidate independent media!

We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the FIRs filed against The Wire’s Founding Editor Siddharth Varadarajan by the police in Faizabad District, Uttar Pradesh. This is clearly an attempt to intimidate the media and muzzle its freedom.

The Wire has been accused of causing panic when it reported that the UP CM Adityanath, attended a public religious event on 25 March at Ayodhya, despite the countrywide lockdown. The Wire has responded that the Chief Minister’s attendance of this event is a matter of public record and knowledge. Hence, the IPC provisions on “disobedience of an order issued by a public servant” and issuing “statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes” mentioned in the FIRs do not apply.

A sentence in an article published by The Wire on 31 March mistakenly attributed the claim that Lord Ram would protect his devotees from the Corona virus to CM Adityanath, a remark actually made by Acharya Paramhans. This was retracted the following day by the website and the necessary correction made.

Mritunjay Kumar, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister, had earlier taunted Vardarajan in a tweet, saying, “Along with running the website, [you] will have to seek donations to fight the case.”

This is gross intolerance of criticism, essential for independent media to function in a democracy. This is why we strongly condemn the FIR filed against our colleague Siddharth Varadarajan as politically motivated, and call on all citizens of conscience to insist on our right to a free and independent media.

Read the statement in Hindi here.

1 A Mangai 77 Naina Dayal
2 Abhijit Sengupta 78 Nancy Adajania
3 Abhishek Majumdar 79 Naresh Fernandes
4 Adil Jussawalla 80 Naseeruddin Shah
5 Aditi Mehta 81 Natasha Badhwar
6 Akeel Bilgrami 82 Navrekha Sharma
7 Alok Perti 83 Nayantara Sahgal
8 Amit Bhaduri 84 Neelan Premji
9 Amit Chaudhuri 85 Neeraj Malik
10 Amitabha Pande 86 Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay
11 Amitav Ghosh 87 Nilima Sheikh
12 Ammu Joseph 88 Nirmal Mitra
13 Anand Patwardhan 89 Nivedita Menon
14 Anand Teltumbde 90 Nupur Basu
15 Anita Agnihotri 91 P R Dasgupta
16 Anna Dani 92 P Sainath
17 Anuradha Kapur 93 Padmaja Shaw
18 Ardhendu Sen 94 Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
19 Aruna Roy 95 Partha Chatterjee
20 Ashok Sharma 96 Parthasarathi Majumdar
21 Atamjit Singh 97 Parvathi Menon
22 Ayesha Kidwai 98 Poile Sengupta
23 B R P Bhaskar 99 Prabir Purkayastha
24 Badri Raina 100 Preeti Edakunny
25 Bharati Jagannathan 101 Prema Viswanathan
26 Bhasha Singh 102 Purushottam Agrawal
27 C K Meena 103 Pushpamala N
28 Chaman Lal 104 Rahman Abbas
29 Chandrakant Patil 105 Ratna Pathak Shah
30 Chitrangada Choudhury 106 Rekha Awasthi
31 Debashis Chatterji 107 Renu Ramanath
32 Devaki Khanna 108 Revathi Siva Kumar
33 Devasahayam MG 109 Revati Laul
34 Firoz Kamal 110 Ritu Menon
35 G N Devy 111 Rukmini Bhaya Nair
36 Geeta Kapur 112 S Raghunandana
37 Geeta Seshu 113 Sakuntala Narasimhan
38 Geetanjali Shree 114 Saleem Peeradina
39 Gita Jayaraj 115 Salim Yusufji
40 Githa Hariharan 116 Sandhya Srinivasan
41 Hari Vasudevan 117 Sangeeta Luthra Sharma
42 Hindal Tyabji 118 Sanjeev Kumar
43 Indira Chandrasekhar 119 Satyabhama Subramanian
44 Indra Shekhar Shahh 120 Saumya Chakrabarti
45 Javed Malick 121 Seema Mustafa
46 Jeet Thayil 122 Shafey Kidwai
47 Jisha Elizabeth 123 Shamsul Islam
48 Jyothi A 124 Shankar Raghuraman
49 Jyoti Punwani 125 Shashi Deshpande
50 K P Fabian 126 Shoma A Chatterji
51 K. Satchidanandan 127 Sibaji Bandyopadhyay
52 Kamayani Bali Mahabal 128 Srinivasa Gowda
53 Karen Gabriel 129 Subhasis Nibirh
54 Keki Daruwalla 130 Subir Ghosh
55 Keshav Desiraju 131 Sudhanva Deshpande
56 Kingshuk Nag 132 Sugata Srinivasaraju
57 Kumkum Roy 133 Sujata Madhok
58 L H Naqvi 134 Sujatha Rao
59 Leela Jacinto 135 Sukanta Chaudhuri
60 M M P Singh 136 Sumi Krishna
61 Madhu Bhaduri 137 Sumit Sarkar
62 Maja Daruwala 138 Sundar Burra
63 Makarand Sathe 139 Suresh Goel
64 Mala Dayal 140 Swapan Chakravorty
65 Malini Subramaniam 141 T M Krishna
66 Mallika Sarabhai 142 Tanika Sarkar
67 Manabi Majumdar 143 Tapati Guha Thakurta
68 Mangad Rathnakaran 144 Vibha Puri Das
69 Manishi Jani 145 Vibodh Parthasarathi
70 Mannika Chopra 146 Vijay Prashad
71 Meena Gupta 147 Vijaya Venkataraman
72 Meena Menon 148 Vinod K Jose
73 Meher 149 Vivek Narayanan
74 Melanie P Kumar 150 Zoya Hasan
75 Mridula Garg 151 Rajendra Chenni
76 Mrinal Pande 152 Uma Bhrugubanda

Categories: Campaign

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