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Mainstream, VOL LX No 11, New Delhi, March 5, 2022

Editors Guild Statement about arrest of journalist from news site Janjwar, by Uttarakhand Police

Saturday 5 March 2022

The Editors Guild of India

PRESS STATEMENT

March 3rd, 2022

The Editors Guild of India is deeply disturbed by the arrest of Kishore Ram, a journalist working for the news portal Janjwar, by the Uttarakhand Police on February 24, 2022 from Pithoragadh.

Ram has been arrested under section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code, on charges of promoting enmity between castes. This is deeply concerning as Ram has been reporting on issues pertaining to marginalised classes and lower castes for a while. In the present instance, an FIR was booked against him for his reporting on two separate incidents- one pertaining to the death of a Dalit youth on February 13, and the other with respect to reporting on the rape of two Dalit underage women on February 18. In both cases Ram had interviewed those who knew the victims, including the family members, and uploaded the videos on the website.

The police in its complaint have accused Ram of “asking caste of people” from the family members and speaking about the “killing of people belonging to SC by upper caste people.”

This is extremely distressing that mere reporting on what may very well be caste based crimes are being cited as grounds for arrest. The Editors Guild demands immediate release of Kishore Ram and urges the state administration and the law enforcement agencies to not use penal laws as tools of intimidation against journalists’ right to report on societal and caste based issues.

Thanks and regards,

Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

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