UP journos condemn Tablighi attack on media

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Lucknow, April (IANS) The legal notice served to various media outlets by the Tablighi Jamaat has received widespread condemnation from journalists and their organisations.

Ravindra Singh, president of the Uttar Pradesh Press Club, said on Thursday that the notices were a direct attack on the freedom of the press.
“A thorough probe should be ordered on the activities of the Tablighi Jamaat and its funding sources. The Jamaat has behaved irresponsibly and is now attacking the media to divert attention. The government should deal seriously with the matter after reports of Jamaatis misbehaving with doctors, nurses, police and now the press,” he said.
Suresh Bahadur Singh, secretary of Uttar Pradesh Journalists Guild and former president of the UP State Accredited Correspondents Committee, said that the notices served to media outlets were an attack on democracy and the Tablighi Jamaat must withdraw the same without delay.
“If the Tablighi Jamaat has nothing to hide, why does Mohammad Saad not give himself up for investigations. Attacking the media should not be tolerated and the court must also take note of the intentions behind the act. The journalist fraternity must also stand together and fight against such oppressive tactics,” he said.
Suman Gupta, a former Press Council member and resident editor of Janmorcha (a newspaper run by a cooperative society), also condemned the behavior of the Tablighi Jamaat and said that this reflected the mentality of the organization that believed in muzzling voices that spoke against it.
“If the Tablighi Jamaat has an opinion, it should come out with it on the proper forum instead of attacking the media which is simply doing its duty. This kind of action is a direct blow to the democratic system of the country and should be dealt with firmly,” she said.
Veteran journalist Rakesh Pandey, meanwhile, said that the Tablighi Jamaat was guilty of sedition and endangering the lives of millions in India.
“Its leaders should have been arrested long ago. Instead, the Tablighi Jamaat is now attacking the media which is also an unpardonable offence,” he said.