New Delhi : The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) condemns the police raids and seizure of much of infrastructure of Kannada news channel Power TV in Bengaluru, which has ‘effectively led to shutting the channel.’ The police action follows Power TV, doing a sting operation claiming it proved corruption charges against BJP Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra.
Power TV’s Principal Editor told NDTV that “Police reached our office yesterday (Monday) around 6.30pm. They were there until the morning. They had a search warrant and said they were looking for documents related to a case of alleged extortion, criminal intimidation and blackmail against the channel’s Managing Director Rakesh Shetty.” Besides, “They took away all the laptops, hard disks. They went to the server room, and even though we said we need the server, there is nothing there, they took machines from there,” said Hassan adding that “This is effectively shutting the channel. Right now we are airing out of Delhi, using recorded programmes. Our Facebook and YouTube channel has also been blocked.”
In a statement, IJU President and former member of Press Council of India Geetartha Pathak and Secretary General and IFJ Vice President Sabina Inderjit said that police raids which effectively have led to shutting the channel in a dictatorial manner is unacceptable and clear misuse of law. Power TV cannot be targeted for exposing the Chief Minister’s alleged corruption and the action is an attack on the freedom of the press. The IJU demands immediate restoration of the channel’s infrastructure and that the government stop gagging the media.