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Rajasthan Patrika to ban Vasundhara Raje until “black law” is revoked

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Rajasthan Patrika to ban Vasundhara Raje until “black law” is revoked

Rajasthan Patrika, a leading Hindi daily, on November 1, in a front-page editorial announced that it will not report any news related to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje or her government officials until the controversial Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance is revoked.

In the sharp editorial, Gulab Kothari, Editor-in-Chief, Rajasthan Patrika termed the ordinance as “black law” and said, “The Rajasthan government has left behind the period of emergency with its black law.”

“Accepting the advice of our editorial board, the board of directors have decided that till the chief minister Vasundhara Raje doesn’t take back this black law, Rajasthan Patrika will not publish her and the related news. This is a question of democracy, of expression, of the people’s opinion of pride,” the editorial read.

On September 7, Vasundhara Raje government passed The criminal laws (Rajasthan amendment) ordinance, 2017, which seeks to shield serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants from being investigated for on-duty action without its sanction. The ordinance also bars media from naming public servants and politicians as accused until the government sanctions the prosecution.

However, after receiving huge criticism from public and media, the state government referred it to a select committee of the assembly on October 24. Kothari, in the editorial, has called this move an “eyewash” as the ordinance was still in effect and journalist could still be put behind the bars for up to two years.

“I hope people’s blessings will always be with us. Hail India! Hail democracy!” said Kothari ending the editorial. It should also be noted, since last year, the Rajasthan government had stopped giving ads in Rajasthan Patrika.

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