The Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Friday strongly condemned the FIRs lodged against the journalists, who reported the 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' on Republica Day and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the same, reported PTI.
Six journalists including India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, National Herald’s Zafar Agha, Caravan’s Ananth Nath, Vinod Jose and Paresh Nath were booked by the Noida Police on Thursday for their reporting on tractor rally, which was conducted by farmers in protest of the Centre's agriculture laws.
The FIRs alleged that tweets posted by the above people were intentionally malicious and were the reason for violence at the Red Fort, which Guild noted is far from the truth.
In a press statement released on Friday, Guild asserted that journalists were specifically targeted for reporting the death of one of the protestors during the rally on their personal social media handles as well as those of the publications they lead and represent.
"The Editors Guild of India strongly condemns the intimidating manner in the way in which the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Police have registered FIRs against senior editors and journalists (including current and former office-bearers of EGI) for reporting on the farmers' protest rallies and the ensuing violence that took place in the national capital on 26th January," the statement read.
"We demand that the FIRs be withdrawn immediately and the media be allowed to report without fear and with freedom," the Guild said.
"On a day thick with information, the EGI finds these FIRs, filed in different states, as an attempt to intimidate, harass, browbeat, and stifle the media," the Guild added.
The FIRs have been filed under 10 different provisions, including sedition laws, promoting communal disharmony, and insulting religious beliefs.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and an unidentified person have also been named in the FIR.
The FIR was lodged following a complaint that alleged "digital broadcast" and "social media posts" by the persons were responsible for the violence during a tractor rally by farmers in Delhi.