Hyderabad: In a blatant move which was not witnessed even during the notorious Emergency days, and which was aimed at stifling the freedom of press at an international forum, representatives of a section of media were disallowed to cover the opening session of high level segment of the CoP-11 attended by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the International Convention Centre on Tuesday. The incident came in for condemnation of the media organizations and political parties. They staged protests at different places in the city and state denouncing the treatment meted out to the scribes of selective media houses at the biodiversity meet.
Senior correspondents representing the HMTV, V 6, T News, Zee 24 Hours and Munsif – all news channels and the Namaste Telanagana, a Telugu daily, were denied access to the main venue by the UN CBD cops at the behest of the state police. Despite being in possession of the priority passes and access passes issued by the organizers of the Convention, they were all forced to retreat without covering the session. The information officer handling the issue of passes pleaded his helplessness as their names were missing from the list of media persons accorded permission.
Neither the officials of the information Department of the state Government nor the staff of the ‘Perfect Relations”- the official media relations organizer for the event could come to the rescue of the scribes, who were issued media accreditations. The decision to prevent the entry of the scribes from select media to the main venue was reportedly attributed to the precautionary measures initiated by the state police and intelligence agencies in view of the TJAC call to stage protests on the occasion and press for separate Telangana state. But connecting that call to media houses and media personnel invited all round condemnation and protest action from media organizations.
Scribes of different media houses who staged a protest demonstration condemning the incident at the state Secretariat were arrested by the security personnel. The protesters sought an explanation from the Minister for Information and public relations on denial of permission to the correspondents to cover the opening of the CoP-11 high level segment even though they were accredited to cover the event. Led by the Telangana Journalists Union leaders Kappara Prasad and Kasani Srinivas, scribes staged a candle light demonstration at the Ambedkar statue near the Tank Bund in protest against the treatment meted out to the reporters.
K Srinivas Reddy, IJU leader, Allam Narayana, convenor of the Telangana Journalist Forum, Ch Kranti, General Secretary of the Telangana Electronic Media Journalists Association, Telangana Junior Advocates Sangham and the Telangana Advocates JAC condemned the denial of access to selective media to the high level segment of the CoP-11.
I & PR minister orders probe
Hyderabad: The Minister for information and Public relations D K Aruna on Tuesday ordered an enquiry into denial of access to some section of press to the opening session of the high level segment of the CoP 11 meet on Tuesday. In an official release issued here she said the denial of access to the convention centre to cover the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s programme, is most ‘unfortunate.’ She also requested the agitating scribes to call off their protest. (From: The Hans India)