The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has condemned attempts being made by the Government of Chhattisgarh to intimidate a member newspaper, Patrika, reportedly to suppress reportage about Chief Minister of the state and his relatives.
In a statement issued on January 3, 2012, Ashish Bagga, President, Indian Newspaper Society, said that the filing of 40 to 50 criminal cases against the newspaper, many of them in remote Bastar district, seemed aimed clearly at intimidating the newspaper.
Members of the ruling party of the state are also learnt to have burnt copies of the newspaper, removed its hoardings by force and indulged in other “reprehensible actions”, according to the release.
The INS has urged the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and the state government to desist from such undemocratic actions against a respected newspaper.
The health of a democracy depended on the vibrancy of its media institutions, and INS was committed to resisting any assaults on the freedom of the press, Bagga affirmed.