Condemning police action against the journalists, the PCI also urged National Human Rights Commision (NHRC) to take cognisance of human rights violation by Tripura police in detaining the two scribes till night in police station.
Journalists Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha from HW News Network, who had come to Tripura to write on the recent communal incidents, were detained by Assam police on Sunday. Later, they were brought to Tripura, and were formally arrested on Monday morning, on charges of posting inflammatory / fake news on social media.
The two were later released on bail on Monday.
A statement said, “The Press Club of India strongly condemns the detention and harassment of two Delhi-based women reporters, Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha by Tripura state police under charges of spreading communal hatred. The reporters were booked for creating hatred between communities for fabricating, concealing truth.”
It added, “The Press Club of India demands that the cases be dropped and the media be allowed to carry out their duty independently. The PCI also urges the NHRC to take cognisance of the human rights violation by Tripura police in detaining both reporters till night in the police station, as law ordains that police can't keep a woman detained in police station beyond 6 pm.”
PCI noted that this wasn’t the first time that a media person faced harassment at hands of Tripura Police. For a democracy to thrive, media should be allowed to do their job without harassment, it added.