Journalism at risk in Uttar Pradesh: Press Freedom a far cry

Journalism at risk in Uttar Pradesh: Press Freedom a far cry

With India’s rank dropping to the 150th position from the 142nd position in the World Press Freedom Index, 20222, new incidents reported of late are quite disturbing to find.

In a recent political event in Uttar Pradesh, the actions of a 22-year-old journalist were found to be offensive by the UP police. So, the pivotal question here is, what was his offense? His offense was questioning the UP Education minister Gulab Devi about the unfulfilled promise she made during elections in her constituency.

The Telegraph reports

According to The Telegraph reports, the journalist named Sanjay Rana, a correspondent in a Moradabad-based Hindi newspaper was arrested on Sunday and subsequently obtained bail on Monday. Yet the process of receiving bail did not arrive on a smooth note.

Uttar Pradesh education minister Gulab Devi arrived at the Assembly constituency of Chandausi in Sambhal district for a government event. Rana was not only arrested but also thrashed, thereafter produced before the court where he was finally granted bail.

According to The Telegraph, Rana was quoted saying, “They brought me to Kotwali police station in Chandausi town on Monday and produced me before a court, where I got bail. I had not posed any uncomfortable questions to the minister, still, she got furious and asked a local BJP leader to file a case against me. I don’t fear anybody as I haven’t done anything wrong.”

The editor Dharmendra Singh of the newspaper Moradabad Ujala, was quoted saying to The Telegraph,” This is a horrible situation that journalists are facing in the state. They cannot even ask questions of ministers.” Most of the information was obtained through a video circulating on social media post the absolute occurrence of the event. Later on, Tuesday, Gulab Devi even refused to talk to other reporters. Several allegations against Rana on behalf of the UP police have been put forward whose credibility is questionable.

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Image Courtesy: Brighter Kashmir

Restraints faced by media

This is not the first time that differences have been arising between the media and the UP police. Significant evidence in the past such as in Hathras incidents where reporters experienced significant hindrances to reporting events occurring around.

Consequently, the perpetual occurrence of these events and incidents is significantly questionable. The tendency of ministers to evade questions at both regional and central levels is undoubtedly drawing in more attention than otherwise expected to be.

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