Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday criticised the arrest of scribe Prashant Kanojia and the editor and the head of a Noida-based TV channel, saying Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is behaving “foolishly” and he should release the journalists.
This came shortly before a vacation Bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi, granted bail to Kanojia saying the Right to Liberty was a ‘non-negotiable’ fundamental right.
Gandhi also claimed that if every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about him is put in jail, most newspapers or news channels would face a severe staff shortage.
“The UP CM is behaving foolishly and needs to release the arrested journalists,” the Congress president tweeted.
Kanojia, Anuj Shukla, who is the editor of Noida-based TV channel Nation Live, and its head Ishika Singh, have faced police action over the release of alleged objectionable content against the UP chief minister.
The Editors Guild had on Sunday condemned the arrest of Kanojia, Singh and Shukla, describing the police action as an “authoritarian misuse of laws” and an effort to intimidate the press.
An FIR was registered against Kanojia at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Friday night in which it was alleged that the accused made “objectionable comments against the CM and tried to malign his image”.
Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the CM’s office, claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath.
A group of journalists and activists had held a protest here on Monday over the arrests.