Monday, Nov 10, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
He urged the authorities in Chennai to reconsider the decision and not further precipitate the situation.
Mr. Tarneja, a former Managing Director of The Times of India, in a statement, said: ``Our legislatures and the Press have, by and large, maintained objectivity in their relationship for over 50 years. It is vital and indispensable for the functioning of our democracy and national interest that these two vital functions continue to be performed with mutuality of interest to sustain our values enshrined in the Constitution.''
The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists called the Tamil Nadu Government a ``ruthless opponent of any sort of democratic rights for the people, a characteristic that was underlined in the crushing of the State Government employees' agitation''.
Referring to the `cabin-by-cabin' search for the journalists in The Hindu premises, it said ``this very Tamil Nadu police has not been able to nab brigand Veerappan for several years''.
The BUJ said that most political parties had refused to support the codification of legislative privileges, a demand made by journalists and their organisations for several years. ``Assemblies of various political hues have set dubious precedents for the Tamil Nadu Assembly,'' it said.
The latest was the sentencing of the Mahanagar editor, Nikhil Wagle, for alleged contempt of the House. ``Clearly, these acts represent the growing lack of tolerance for criticism and respect for the freedom of expression among political parties,'' the BUJ said.
It urged the Tamil Nadu Assembly to see reason and rescind its arrest warrants against the journalists.
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