‘Deeply Disturbed’: Editors Guild On Kerala Guv Arif Khan Evicting Journalists From Press Meet

‘Deeply Disturbed’: Editors Guild On Kerala Guv Arif Khan Evicting Journalists From Press Meet

New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India on Tuesday expressed dissent against the “arbitrary act” by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan who expelled journalists of two news channels from a press conference in Kochi on Monday, news agency PTI reported.

In a statement, the Guild said it was “deeply disturbed by this selective targeting of media channels by a person who occupies the high constitutional office, and who is supposed to be a guardian of democratic values, including freedom of press”.

“Media has the right to be critical of those in power, and such critical coverage cannot be a reason for denying access to press meets,” the Guild said.

“EGI notes with concern the increasing tendency to block the media from access to information in the public domain,” it added.

Notably, on Monday, Arif Khan expelled journalists of Kairali TV and MediaOne TV from a press briefing in Kochi accusing them of bias towards the Pinarayi Vijayan government, and started his interaction only after the representatives of the two channels left.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, several journalists under the aegis of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) marched to Raj Bhavan in protest against Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

The protest march that began from Kanakakunnu and culminated ahead of the main gate of the Raj Bhavan, was inaugurated by Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader VD Satheesan.

Former State Finance Minister and Left leader T M Thomas Isaac, CITU leader Anathalavattom Anandan, Left leader and MP John Brittas were among the others who participated in the protest march.

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Amid the ongoing tussle between the LDF government and Governor Khan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the Centre of using Governors in the non-BJP ruled states to encroach into the powers of those governments and legislatures where horse-trading was not possible.

“In many states, horse-trading of elected representatives is going on. We may have to replace the word ‘horse’ with something else as it’s an old term and the prices have now really gone up. It is not the price of a horse now, we all know that. Where such horse-trading is not possible, the Governors are used to encroach upon the powers of the state governments and legislatures,” PTI quoted Vijayan as saying.