Congress up in arms over govt’s attempt to ‘gag’ media, submit memo to Badal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: May 17, 2016 14:40 IST
The district (rural) Congress protesting against the Punjab government outside the Amritsar deputy commissioner’s office on Monday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

The Congress on Monday held a demonstration outside the deputy commissioner’s office against the state government’s alleged attempts at “gagging” media.

Led by Amritsar district congress committee (DCC, rural) president Gurjit Singh Aujla, the protesters demanded that the Punjab government should let the media function independently and impartially. Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) spokesperson Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia also participated in the demonstration. Raising slogans against the Punjab government, Congress workers marched from the DCC (rural) office to the DC office, where they held a rally.

Addressing the workers, Aujla said the recent case of withdrawal of services of a prominent Punjabi channel over the cable network in Punjab was a clear case of the government’s attempt to “gag” and control the electronic media.

Read: Protest over news channel blackout: MLA Bains, 15 supporters held

“It is clear that private channels can operate on the cable network in the state if they toe the government line. The government’s criticism on these channels is not tolerated,” said Aujla. He said in the past nine years, people of the state have been fed on what Badals say and project about the state. “This is because they control the cable network, and any channel that dares to go against the state government is taken off the network,” he alleged.

Lalli Majithia said in a democracy, it was the duty of the media to bring out what is right and what is not. “The media has to tell the truth, but perhaps this is not to the liking of Badals,” he said.

Later, Aujla submitted a memorandum addressed to the chief minister to DC Varun Roojam. In the memorandum, the Congress demanded total independence of the media in the state.

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