New Delhi : A three-member committee has been formed by the Press Council of India (PCI) to investigate the alleged threat remarks by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao against the media, PTI reports.

The three-member committee comprising senior journalists Rajeev Ranjan Nag (convenor), K Amarnath and Krishna Prasad will make its recommendations for protection of the media in Telangana from threats and intimidations, said an order issued by PCI Chairperson Justice (retd) Markandey Katju.

 The committee would inquire into “whether the Telangana CM made the statements attributed to him that he would break the necks and bury underground media persons and that they should salute the Telangana people if they wished to live in the state. It would also investigate whether this violated Article 19 (1) (a) pertaining to freedom of speech and expression rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The order further said that the panel would also examine whether there was a threat perception to the media in Telangana and its free functioning.

 It will also recommend what steps are necessary for the protection of the media in Telangana in discharging its duties.

 The PCI chairperson said it had been brought to his notice that Rao, while addressing a public meeting at Warangal, reportedly said he would break the neck of those in the media who insulted the

pride of Telangana, its culture and self-respect.

 “He also reportedly said that the media should salute the people of Telangana if they want to live in the state, otherwise they would be buried 10 km deep,” the order signed by PCI chairperson said.

After considering the matter on the basis of material available in public domain, Justice Katju said “prima facie” he believed the remarks made by Rao amounted to intimidation of media personnel under threat of dire consequences and violated the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of the media guaranteed under the Constitution.

Meanwhile, speaking at an election rally in Medak district, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar asked Rao to show ‘dadagiri’ to set the things right instead of using the language of “burying” the media.

“I want to make an appeal to the Chief Minister and the ruling party. If ‘dadagiri’ (bossing around) is to be shown, show it towards what is going wrong. Do development, we will help. Centre and state together, we will make Telangana better.

  “There is no need for speaking the language of burying the media. Media should also be responsible. The language of burying media should be buried. We should understand this,” he said.

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