Hyderabad, Sept 18 (INN): Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee (CLMC) strongly condemns the act of intimidation by DGP of registering false cases against ‘The Hindu’ newspaper. It is a fact that Hindu newspaper published a news item, ‘DGP visiting old city godman raises eyebrows’. The publishing of news item is not a crime. The newspaper presented facts to the readers. In fact presenting the latest situation and information is the duty of the press. This committee feels that DGP Dinesh Reddy’s reaction on this news is meaningless and autocratic. He would have thought over his mistake and taken precautions in future because going on personal visit does not require taking official convoy and other officials and creating traffic problem in the area. Even on official visit he has to see that the common people do not face any problem due to his convoy which is his duty as well. Filing of FIR against the Hindu newspaper is like an idiom in Urdu, ‘ULTA CHOR KOTWAL KO DAANTE’ [The thief blaming the cop].
It is a matter of deep concern that DGP Dinesh Reddy is setting a bad example for the whole society. He is using the police power to suppress voice of a fair newspaper like ‘The Hindu’, which always presents the facts in free and fair manner and works on journalistic values. DGP should respect the freedom of press as well protect it but instead he is attacking it by misusing his power. The FIR registered by the Assistant Commissioner of Police Ram Narsimha Reddy who is also the President of A.P. Police Officers Association, is with the malafide intention to not only suppress the media but also intention of sending a signal to the society that any act of police cannot be questioned. This act is in fact to demoralize the freedom of press and to spread fear among the society.
One thing is to be noted that to file defamation case by the police officials, they have to take permission from the government, so whether the DGP and his officials have obtained permission from the government of A.P. before filing the case, is a big question mark!
Therefore, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee demands the government of A.P. to take the issue seriously as it is a grave violation of freedom of press as well as a disciplinary force is acting in indiscipline manner. We also Demand to revoke the cases and apologize to the Editor Siddharth Vardarajan and Resident Editor S Nagesh Kumar of The Hindu newspaper, said Lateef Mohammed Khan Gen. Secretary Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee India.