Lift media curbs on Telangana, rights panel urged

Hyderabad : The Telangana lawyers’ joint action committee (JAC) has sought the intervention of the Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission to lift the restrictions imposed on media coverage in view of the Srikrishna committee’s report.

The commission Friday admitted the petition for hearing and asked Director General of Police Aravinda Rao to submit a report before Jan 11.

The JAC alleged that the restrictions on media, especially television channels, were an attack on the freedom of press. Advocates and journalists took out a rally in Warangal Friday against the restrictions on media.

The National Broadcasters Association (NBA) last month issued guidelines for television channels and cable operators in Andhra Pradesh. The police also issued do’s and don’ts for the channels.

Due to the gag on media, none of the channel Thursday showed the violent incidents that took place in Osmania University when students tried to take out a rally to protest the Srikrishna report.

Meanwhile, the Aravinda Rao told reporters Friday that action would be taken against media organisations which violated NBA guidelines after the committee’s report was made public.

The police chief found fault with a section of the media for unnecessarily sensationalising the violence in Osmania University campus.

He denied reports that a student was injured in police firing. He clarified that the police used only pellets and not bullets while tackling the violence.

Rao said 24 policemen were injured in the pelting by students. “The situation in the university is a bit tense but we are trying to restore normalcy.”

The police are considering banning bulk SMSes to deal with rumour mongers.

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