The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) on Thursday joined other media bodies in condemning the remarks made by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, threatening to “bury the media 10-km under the earth” if it “insults” his state.
A release issued by the INS stated: “Any person with a grievance against a publication has legal remedies available for redress. But acts of intimidation and threats of the kind reportedly issued by Mr. Rao have no place in a democratic Society, especially when they emanate from a person holding a high position.”
The Society said it would resist with all the resources at its command any efforts to intimidate or harass member publications.
The controversial and widely condemned statement was made during a function in Warangal, on September 9. The Association of Telangana Multiple System Operators (cable TV operators) blocked the transmission of the event, following which Rao said: "If anybody tries to denigrate or hurt the self-respect of Telangana, Telangana Assembly, Telangana culture... we will break their necks. Be careful. Beware or else we will bury you 10 km (under the earth)."
The remark has left the media in shock. Both the Editors Guild of India and News Broadcasters Association have issued separate statements in which they said Rao’s remarks and the recent anti-media actions taken by the Telangana government were a direct attack on the freedom of expression.