Journalists protest harassment, stand in Ganga for ‘jal satyagraha’

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News: Journalists in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh jumped into the Ganga, half-naked, in what is called a “jal satyagraha” on June 7, as reported by Newslaundry. This was done in protest against the administration’s harassment of the journalists over “critical” reporting.

Here are five components of the story:

  • The journalists demand that the district magistrate be moved out and his administration’s harassment of journalists investigated.
  • Journalists leading this protests, Ajay Bhadauria and Vivek Mishra have had FIRs filed against them. Bhadauria told Newslaundry that he was booked on May 13 for a mere tweet in which he pointed out that a community kitchen in Fatehpur’s Vijaypur had closed down. The sub-divisional magistrate had him booked for circulating false news.
  • Vivek Mishra was booked last December for reporting on dysfunctional cowsheds in Fatehpur. “Cows have been dying in cowsheds across the district. I reported it for Dainik Bhaskar. The DM filed an FIR against me, but I have videos to prove my claim,” Mishra said at the protest.
  • The Fatehpur DM appears to deny the existence of Bahadauria as a journalist, according to a press note released on June 7 which says that Bahadauria, who has been a journalist for 32 years – “is not associated with any print or electronic media in the year 2020”.
  • “This is a protest against the tyrannical ways of the district magistrate in Fatehpur, Sanjeev Singh,” the journalist says in a video of the protest. “He is putting charges on journalists for truthful reporting. He has openly insulted reporters while they tried to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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