Hyderabad: Condemning the CBI move to freeze the bank accounts of Sakshi Group owned by Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy, leaders of the Journalists` Union in Andhra Pradesh today termed the development as an "attack on the freedom of the press".
The CBI has approached banks for freezing accounts of Jagati Publications, which brings out Telugu daily `Sakshi`, and Indira TV, which runs a 24-hour Telugu news channel-- both associated to Reddy, who is facing allegations of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.
"By freezing the bank accounts, the CBI has made it impossible for the newspaper and news channel to meet their day-to-day expenses.. We feel that it is nothing but an attack on the freedom of the press," D Amar, a member of the Union, said.
Amar`s view was shared by other leaders of the Union as well.
"While acknowledging that everybody, including individuals and institutions, are equal before the law, we feel that the CBI should strike a fair balance between the requirements of law and the right of the people for free expression embodied in the constitution," Amar said.
In Kadapa, Jagan`s home constituency, a rally was organised by local journalists against the CBI move and a memorandum was submitted to the district collector.
Meanwhile, employees of Jagati Publications, Sakshi daily and Sakshi TV staged sit-ins at various places in East Godavari district to protest freezing of bank accounts.
The employees said the CBI action will adversely affect functioning of the companies and distribution of salaries.
Demonstrations and rallies were held in main centres in Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Kadiam and Amalapuram, among other towns.
Road traffic was disrupted at several areas in the district.
Protesters burnt effigies of Congress leaders in Kadiam.