The arrests of Noida based journalist Prashant Kanojia, the head of private television news channel Ishita Singh and its editor Anuj Shukla has been condemned by the Editors Guild of India and various other media associations. Prashant Kanojia was arrested for uploading an objectionable post against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on social media and Ishita Singh and Anuj Shukla have been accused of airing the same on television.
The accused has alleged to share a video where a woman speaks to reporters outside the CM’s office, claiming that she has sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath. An FIR was registered against Kanojia at Lucknow’s Hazratganj Police Station on the night of June 7 in which it was alleged that the accused made the objectionable comments against the CM and tried to damage his reputation. Later two more journalist were also arrested.
The Guild has stated in this regard saying police action amounts to misuse of laws, and it seems like an effort to intimidate the press and stifle freedom of expression. The Guild has said “whatever the accuracy of the woman’s claims, to register a case of criminal defamation against the journalist for sharing it on social media and airing it on a television channel is a bold misuse of the law. to give the police power to arrest, provision of Section 66 of the IT Act has also been added.”