A number of journalists’ bodies on Tuesday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh complaining about trolling of some journalists on the social media in the wake of the Pulwama incident and sought action against the trolls.
“We would like to bring to your kind notice the vicious attacks on the social media directed against several mediapersons who have commented on the harassment faced by Kashmiri students and others following the dastardly killings of CRPF personnel in Pulwama,” read the letter written jointly by Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC), Press Club of India (PCI) and Press Association.?
It said that not only were the personal details of some of these mediapersons made public, several of them have been “bombarded by phone calls threatening violence, including sexual violence and other forms of repeated intimidation”.
“While the government agencies rightfully rein in those who are spreading fake news and putting out potentially inflammatory messages, we urge the Union Home Ministry under your leadership to act with equal alacrity in identifying and booking those who have been targeting mediapersons and other individuals with hate messages,” the letter said.
“Such messages have the potential of inciting hatred and invariably leading to hate crime. Kindly look into this with the urgency it demands,” it added.
The journalists’ bodies also pointed out that the growing tendency to “demonise, hate and abuse people having different viewpoints” was a “deeply worrying trend” which goes against the basic tenets of democracy.