A video of Uttar Pradesh police forcibly locking up a group of journalists and photographers inside a room during the visit of the state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has gone viral on social media. In the video, a group of journalists and photographers are seen being pushed inside a room before a cop locks the doors.
The visual of journalists suffering humiliating treatment by the state’s BJP government evoked strong reactions on social media. Journalist Prashant Kumar wrote, “SHOCKING: Moradabad DM Rakesh Kumar Singh locks up dozens of media persons in the emergency ward of the District Hospital during CM Yogi’s visit to prevent the media from asking questions of Yogi.”
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wrote on Twitter, “Journalists are being abducted, questions being suppressed and issues put aside. The UP government which won huge majority is now avoiding questions from the people. Dear leaders, the public knows everything. Not only will they ask questions, but they will also seek a response from you.”
However, Moradabad district magistrate Rakesh Kumar rejected the claims of journalists being locked up inside a room even after the video went viral. He was quoted by India Today as saying, “It’s not correct. During inspection so many media persons inside the ward, requested media persons not to go inside the ward with Honble CM.”
Oh well! This actually happened! All the reporters and cameramen were taken to the emergency ward and locked inside it so they can’t get to ask questions of the chief minister! @akashbanerjee https://t.co/7k24ghjfEw pic.twitter.com/KQYiU4lyQ4
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) June 30, 2019
Adityanath was visiting a hospital in Moradabad when this incident took place. Journalists were only freed from the administration’s captivity after 25 minutes when Adityanath had left the venue.
This fresh development curbing media’s freedom comes just days after it was reported that the Centre’s Narendra Modi government had frozen advertisements of three leading newspapers namely The Telegraph, The Hindu and The Times of India.