Maha CM assures safety of journalists

Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan has written to PCI chief Justice Markandey Katju, assuring for the safety of journalists.

New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan has written to Press Council of India (PCI)
chief Justice Markandey Katju, assuring him of his
government`s commitment to ensure safety of journalists.

The Chief Minister`s letter came after the PCI chief had
sent him a scathing missive over violent attacks on
journalists in Maharashtra.

Katju, in his letter, had threatened to recommend
dismissal of the state government to the President.

A statement issued today by Katju said that the
Maharashtra CM had written "stating that he (Chavan) holds the
Press Council in high esteem and that his government is
committed to guarantee the freedom of the press."

"He has also stated that he is getting the issues raised
in my letter (regarding attacks on journalists in Maharashtra)
examined and will revert to me soon with factual details," the
statement issued by the PCI chairman said.

Earlier Katju had written to the Maharashtra government
about journalists safety but his letters were not replied to.

A reply this time, even if it was to a toughly worded letter,
seemed to have satisfied him.

"By writing such a letter the Chief Minister has behaved
like a gentleman. The letter is in keeping with his
constitutional obligation and I believe in his assurance that
he will do all he can for maintaining freedom of the press,"
Katju said in his statement.

In his statement, Katju said that he was withdrawing his
showcause notice to the Maharashtra CM but warned other state
governments against laxity in protecting the freedom of press.
"Consequently, I hereby withdraw the showcause notice
issued to him," Katju said.

"However, I warn all State Governments/Union Territories
that the Press Council will take serious note of any violation
of freedom of the press which is a guaranteed fundamental
right," which the Press Council was duty bound to protect,
Katju added.


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