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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 336
ANSWERED ON:  21.12.2021
Security to Journalists/Media Persons
Kunwar Danish Ali
Will the Minister of



HOME AFFAIRS be pleased to state:-


(a) whether it is a fact that incidents of attack on media persons/murder of journalists, etc. are on the rise in the country;

(b) if so, the details thereof and the total number of journalists injured/killed separately, guilty persons arrested and the action taken against them during each of the last five years and the current year, State-wise;

(c) whether the Government has received any report/ recommendations from the Press Council of India on the safety of media persons/journalists;

(d) if so, the details thereof and the action taken by the Government in this regard;

(e) whether the Government has constituted any committee to investigate the attacks on journalists and settle the case within a specified time frame and if so, the details thereof; and

(f) the other steps taken by the Government for the protection of journalists, bloggers, scribes, reporters, Newspaper Offices and TV Stations?


ANSWER
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
(SHRI NITYANAND RAI)


(a) to (f): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.




STATEMENT REFERRED IN REPLY TO LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. *336 FOR 21.12.2021 REGARDING SECURITY TO JOURNALISTS/MEDIA PERSONS

‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects as per the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. The responsibilities of maintaining law and order, including safety and security of journalists, rests primarily with the respective State Governments. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) does not maintain specific data on cases in respect of journalists.

The Government is committed to ensure the right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined under the Article 19 of the Constitution of India. Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory autonomous body, set up under the Press Council Act, 1978 considers complaints filed ‘by the Press’ concerning curtailment of press freedom, physical assault/attack on journalists etc. PCI is also empowered to take suo-motu cognizance in matters on the pressing issues concerning freedom of Press and safeguarding of its high standards.

The Press Council of India had constituted a Sub-Committee to examine the issue of Safety of Journalists. The report of Sub-Committee submitted on 23.07.2015 carried various recommendations with regard to safety and security of Journalists. The existing laws are adequate for protection of citizens including journalists.


Central Government attaches the highest importance to the safety and security of citizens of the country including the journalists. The Ministry of Home Affairs have issued advisories to States and UTs, from time to time, to maintain law and order and ensure that any person who takes law into his/her own hand is punished promptly as per law. An advisory specifically on safety of journalists was issued to States/UTs on 20th October, 2017 requesting them to strictly enforce the law to ensure safety and security of media persons.

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