HC orders police to protect Asianet offices
One-liner: The Kerala HC on Wednesday directed the police to provide adequate protection to offices of the prominent Malayalam news channel Asianet.
Violence and threats: The direction by Justice N Nagaresh came on the channel's plea claiming it apprehends further violence and threats from pro-Left student organisation SFI and CPI(M) youth wing DYFI.
Trespass by SFI activists: In its petition, the channel alleged that on March 3 around 30 SFI activists forcefully trespassed into its Kochi office and intimidated the staff there with dire consequences.
- It has also been alleged that work there was interrupted and was stopped for nearly an hour by the miscreants who also wrongfully confined the staff for nearly an hour
Attack on press freedom: Barging into a media office is illegal and is a blatant attack on the freedom of the press. The fundamental right to seek and disseminate information through an independent press is under attack, the channel has said in its petition.
Plea disposed of: Disposing of the plea, the HC directed that protection be provided to the Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kannur offices of the channel.
CM's statement: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, recently in the state assembly, had said that SFI activists had organised a protest march to the channel's office against the making of an allegedly fake video, using a minor girl.
- The video content amounted to spreading the misapprehension that govt schools in the state were in the grip of drugs, the CM had said
8 persons arrested: He had also said that on the channel's complaint a case was registered and eight persons were arrested in connection with the trespass into its Kochi office.