‘Direct affront to media freedom’: NWMI condemns police case against Asianet journalist

The Kerala chapter of the media group said the case against Akhila Nandakumar must be withdrawn.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The Kerala chapter of the Network of Women in Media, India has slammed the case against Asianet journalist Akhila Nandakumar as “a direct affront to media freedom and the freedom of speech and expression”.

Nandakumar and four others in Kerala had been named in a complaint filed by a Students’ Federation of India leader PM Arsho over a purported conspiracy to “defame” him. This was after Akhila reported for Asianet that Arsho, a master’s student at Maharaja’s College, had purportedly passed his third-semester exams without appearing for them.

Nandakumar, who is chief reporter at Asianet News, told Newslaundry she had “adhered to the standard reporting practices” in her work.

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article image‘I adhered to standard reporting practices’: Asianet journalist accused in Kerala marks row

The NWMI statement pointed out that the case against Nandakumar was “solely based” on SFI state secretary Arsho’s complaint. 

“It is unfortunate that the Ernakulam central police, while accepting the complaint, failed to conduct a preliminary investigation resulting in the unjust booking of Akhila Nandakumar. This raises serious concerns about the due diligence exercised and the fair treatment of journalists in their pursuit of reporting the truth,” the statement said.

The Kerala chapter of NWMI urged the police to immediately withdraw the case against Nandakumar, saying it was “essential to ensure that journalists can carry out their duties without intimidation or the threat of unwarranted legal action”.

Yesterday, the Editors Guild had also issued a statement condemning the Kerala police’s case against Nandakumar. Read about it here.

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