The Chhattisgarh government has constituted a high-level coordination committee to look into the arbitrary arrest of the journalists by the police in the state. The committee besides looking into the reports of atrocity against the scribes will review the charges framed against them.
Before filing an FIR and arresting a journalist, the case will first come up for scrutiny before the committee.
“The committee will act as an deterrent for the police who act as per their ‘whims and fancies’. It will fix an accountability on the police and the rights of the scribes will be protected,” Rajesh Toppo, member-secretary of the committee, told HT.
The journalists covering the conflict zone of Bastar in south Chhattisgarh hope the committee will effectively adhere to its roles and responsibility. Four journalists were arrested by the police in Bastar — two in September-October 2015 and the other two in March this year.
Constituted at the behest of the chief minister Raman Singh, the committee may invite the inspector general of the concerned police range, if necessary.
“It will act as a bridge to strike coordination between the journalists and the government. We are committed to ensure a thriving free and independent media in the state,” Singh affirmed.