New Delhi: Press Council Chairman Justice
Markandey Katju on Monday came down heavily on Maharashtra government saying despite a number of cases of assault on
journalists in the state it did not seem to be serious about
tackling the problem.
"In view of the large number of assaults on journalists
taking place in your state, some protection must be given to
journalists, but it seems your government is not serious about
this," Katju said in a letter shot off to Maharashtra Chief
Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
He listed several instances where journalists had been
assaulted in the state just for doing their job.
"Two years back a journalist Yogesh Kute was beaten up by
a builder for exposing his unlawful activities. That was
followed by the daylight murder of journalist J Dey in Mumbai.
Recently a TV reporter from Buldhna, Ganesh Solnaki was
assaulted by a group of criminals," the Press Council of India
Katju also drew the Chief Minister`s attention to the
protests and dharnas held by organizations of journalists
against the problems faced by them.
"Your government has promised to act severely and punish
the persons involved in these assaults on journalists, but
nothing seems to have been done seriously," he said.
Taking exception to the report of a state government
panel headed by Narayan Rane which allegedly said there was no
need for any special protection to be provided to journalists,
Katju said the recommendation was unacceptable and sought a
copy of the report.
"You are, therefore, requested to inform me what steps
your government has taken for protection of journalists in the
state of Maharashtra and what steps you propose to take,"
Katju said in his letter to Chavan.