Mumbai: A large number of mediapersons Saturday congregated to protest attacks by Shiv Sena activists on the IBN-Lokmat television channel office in Mumbai and IBN-7’s office in Pune a day earlier.
Several hundred journalists and non-journalist staff of different media organisations converged at south Mumbai’s Hutatma Chowk – a popular place for demonstrations – to peacefully express solidarity with the staff of the TV channels.
A delegation of mediapersons, which included top functionaries of the two channels, met Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and lodged their protest over the Sena’s attack on the media and freedom of press.
Maharashtra Governor S.C. Jamir Saturday strongly condemned the attacks on the media houses and on its editor Nikhil Wagle.
In a strongly worded statement, Jamir directed the state government to initiate “exemplary steps to stop such attacks on the media and mediapersons in future.”
Terming the attacks as shameful and shocking, the governor said this was the third major attack on the Mumbai media in the past 18 moths and such incidents did great harm to the image of the state and its people.
“What is alarming is the overt and covert political patronage these incidents of vandalism receive from political parties and individual,” the governor noted in an oblique reference to the Shiv Sena owning up and justifying the attacks.
“While it is necessary to punish the perpetrators of violence, it is equally imperative to punish and expose those who incite and justify such uncivilized actions. The media also needs to observe due restraint and remain objective while presenting news and opinions,” Jamir urged.
The Shiv Sena activists had barged into the offices, damaged property and editorial staff after their chief Bal Thackeray was criticised on the channels.