The National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ) and the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) unequivocally condemned the "ugly and motivated, hasty arrest" of journalist and activist Teesta Setalvad, just a day after a Supreme Court judgment. Demanding her immediate release, they have called upon members to be ready for a protest action in solidarity.
The statement by NAJ president SK Pande, DUJ general secretary Sujata Madhok and NAJ secretary general N Kondaiah adds that the arrests smacks of an increasingly visible undeclared Emergency that is increasingly becoming visible in continued attacks not only on the freedom of the press but on the democratic rights of citizens which are being bulldozed. Simultaneously the police seem to be increasingly utilised in witch-hunting of select persons.
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The NAJ-DUJ note that “she is not only a veteran journalist but also a human rights activist and a fearless fighter for victims of communal violence in Gujarat. It is unfortunate that defenders of civil rights are treated as criminals”.
It may be recalled that Setalvad was arrested on June 25 by the anti-terrorism squad of Gujarat Police. In the aftermath of her arrest, Setalvad had apprehended a threat to her life and alleged that she was roughed up by the Gujarat Police. Along with Setalvad, former Gujarat director general of police SB Sreekumar, has also been arrested and sent to judicial custody.