Bengaluru: Republic TV is certainly not lying down after two of its journalists have been kept in illegal confinement. The enterprise has approached the NHRC and if needed, will approach the Bombay high court as well. 

Republic TV reporter Anuj Kumar, video journalist Yashpaljit Singh and Ola cab driver Pradeep Dilip Dhanavade are the ones who have been detained. 

They were out on an investigative assignment when they were arrested. 

In a scathing attack on the CM, Arnab Goswami, the chief of Republic TV said, “Uddhav Thackeray, release my journalists. You have broken the law and we will not allow this illegality. You did not write the constitution and you have no right to turn it upside down.” 

The channel had put out a statement earlier on the issue: 

Our team, which is in jail at present, has been charged under sections of trespassing. This is in blatant contradiction to the facts recorded in the press statement by the Police given that it is on-record that the Republic team was apprehended on approaching a security guard. Should the intent have been to ‘trespass’ as is being alleged, an official enquiry to a security guard at a residential gate would not have been made.

We are being informed that our reporter is being pressured by the state machinery in Maharashtra to reveal his story, his leads and his sources. Our reporter will not reveal the source or story. This stands in complete violation of the right to report protected by the Constitution of India. If the idea is to intimidate our journalistic teams, Republic Media Network reiterates that we will not reveal our sources or stories, despite the threat of an excessive use of police force by the state government in Maharashtra.

In the democratic Republic of India, every citizen has the right to move freely as part of their fundamental rights under Article 19(d), and no citizen can be illegitimately deprived of his life or personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. These rights do not extinguish in the radius around any Chief Minister’s residence. The illegal detention of our reporter and video journalist is an attack on constitutionally guaranteed rights with a motivation to muzzle a free press, deny the right to report, and to deter any journalist from speaking truth to power and pursuing stories of public interest as the fourth pillar of our democracy.