Editors Guild of India has condemned Uttar Pradesh Government's decision of restricting media persons trying to cover the developments of the alleged rape case in Hathras.
Editors Guild of India is a non-partisan association of editorial leaders in India.
In a statement issued on October 4, it stated that such attacks against the media are becoming part of a growing trend in recent months.
Read the full statement by Editors Guild of India here:
The Editors Guild Of India condemns the manner in which the law enforcement agencies of the Uttar Pradesh government, led by Yogi Adityanath, have prevented media persons from reporting on developments in and around Hathras after a brutal assault on a woman leading to her death and the hurried cremation of her body by the authorities without the presence of the family of the deceased.
Equally reprehensible is the way the government has tapped the telephones of journalists engaged in covering the Hathras incidents. Worse, the tapped conversation of the journalists has been selectively leaked, leading to a social media calumny against them.
Not allowing the media to visit the incident spots and tapping the phone conversation of journalists undermine and obstruct the functioning of the media. The Guild demands that the government creates conditions in Hathras that do not obstruct journalists in any way.
Hathras is the worst such case in the scale of interference but the Guild also notes with concern that such attacks against the media are becoming part of a growing trend seen in recent months, in which a few other state governments have also indulged in such harassment of journalists. The Guild condemns these and demands corrective action.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper caste men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital where she had been brought for treatment.
The victim was cremated in the dead of the night near her home on Wednesday. Her family alleged that they were forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites. Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".
The government also had also prevented media persons from reporting on developments in and around Hathras. However, the government later permitted the media to enter the area and report.
(With inputs from PTI)