Two prominent media organisations have claimed that some journalists are being frequently summoned to police stations in Delhi for interrogation in cases of arrests of their colleagues and made to wait for hours, seriously hampering their normal professional duties.
In a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Press Association and the Press Club of India also said that they have no intention to create any hurdle in the process of investigation but journalists should be contacted to interrogate in a mutually agreed and convenient date, time and the venue.
“It was brought to our notice that some of the journalists are frequently summoned to the police stations for interrogation by the investigative agencies in connection with cases of arrests of fellow journalists.
“It has been observed that the journalists, most of them accredited to the Government of India, are called to police stations and made to wait for hours seriously hampering their normal professional duties,” the memorandum said.
The two media bodies said the journalists were asked routine questions and let off in the night or after long hours, with directions to them to appear again.
“In our view this creates hurdles in discharging their professional duties, especially in view of the pandemic crisis created by COVID-19,” they said.
The Press Association and the Press Club of India said they wish to make it very clear that journalists will fully cooperate with the investigating agencies and the best possible way is to contact the journalists concerned and interrogate them in a mutually agreed and convenient date, time and the venue.
“The venue can be either near his home or office and it should be completed in a stipulated time so that the journalists can perform their professional duties also.
“We have no intention to create any hurdle in the process of investigation and (are) in fact of the view that truth should prevail in the case, guilty should be punished and let the law takes its own course,” they said.