Mohammad Mohsin, an IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre posted as an election observer in Odisha, has been suspended for “dereliction of duty”.
His offence: checking the helicopter of Narendra Modi, days after a black box had been hurriedly carried off the PM’s chopper in Karnataka.
Now, nine journalists in Telangana have been arrested for reporting the transportation of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the dead of night in private vehicles, in Jagtial district, .
The journalists are: D. Gopikrishna Rao (Velugu), Sridhar (Andhra Jyothi photographer), Naresh (Sakshi TV), Raji Reddy (TV5), Sama Mahesh (local channel), Gaddala Harikrishna (CVR News), Hyder Ali (Mojo TV), and Ravinder (Andhra Jyothi) and Akkinapalli Venu (Andhra Prabha).
A statement issued by the Telangana state photo journalists’ association said the journalists were only covering the shifting of EVMs in late hours, when they were supposed to be kept safe in strong rooms.
“The shifting of EVMs at late hours in a surreptitious manner was against the principles of democracy. The media has a definite role to educate the people on injustices and political conspiracies,” said TSPJA general secretary K.N. Hari, who condemned the filing of illegal cases against the scribes under political pressure, terming it “atrocious“.
The Telangana state union of working journalists too condemned the arrests, saying the cases were booked to threaten journalists who were exposing the undemocratic practices of the government and the officials.
“The arrest is an attempt the throttle the voice of media and free speech, and this is against the Constitution,” said TSUWJ president N. Sekhar and general secretary K. Virahat Ali.
The nine journalists have been charged under Sections 505, 446, 186, 505/2.