Mumbai: Senior editors on Tuesday resolved to
oppose "tooth and nail" the Prithviraj Chavan government`s
move to set up Maharashtra Press Council in the state.
Editors including Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of
the Express Group, N Ram, Editor of The Hindu and Nikhil
Wagle, Editor of IBNLokmat, addressing a meeting at the Press
Club here, said the journalist community would oppose the move
in a manner which was witnessed during the Bihar Press Bill,
1981 and Defamation Bill, 1988.
"We would oppose tooth and nail any move to introduce
Maharashtra Press Council," Wagle said.
Ram said there already existed a statutory body -- the
Press Council of India and there was no need for a separate
Press Council for Maharashtra.
"Imagine if all states have Press Councils, what would
happen?", he asked.
The editors addressed journalists at the Press Club
after meeting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at Sahyadri
Guest House here to discuss the murder of journalist Jyotirmoy
Dey, frequent attack on journalists and demand for an
enactment of a law to make attacks on journalists non-bailable
and cognisable offence.
A proposal to support revival of the Action Committee
for Protection of Journalists was also discussed.
Wagle pointed out that in the last 20 years there has
been as many as 879 attacks on journalists and media houses in
Maharashtra, which is perhaps the worst in any state. "The
situation in rural and mofussil areas is far bad," he added.
In the last two years in Maharashtra, there has been
180 attacks on media personnel and media houses that had been
documented, Ram said.