The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday hit out at the Madhya Pradesh government for adopting a "dictatorial attitude" and booking journalists who were exposing corruption. FIRs have been filed against eight journalists in the last two months for exposing administrative corruption or for demonstrating courage to put across facts to the people, CPI(M) state secretary Jaswinder Singh said in a statement. It was the first time the media was being attacked so brutally since the Emergency in the 1970s, Singh added.
"The Khandwa collector got an FIR lodged against a reputed newspaper for highlighting the dearth of oxygen beds in a report on April 19. Ten days later, Indore Press Club president Arvind Tiwari was booked on April 29 for criticising MP minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia," Singh said. "In April, a civil surgeon got a case lodged against TV journalist Samer Dwivedi in Ashoknagar over a COVID-19 news report. Taveer Warsi was booked in Rajgarh, Rajesh Chourasia in Chhattarpur, Mehfooz Khan in Shahdol, Shubham Shrivastava in Sagar. The latest FIR was on journalist Pankaj Soni on June 12 on the complaint of an engineer after the former exposed a scam," Singh said in the CPI(M) statement.
"All political parties, social organisations, intellectuals, and supporters of democracy must come together to oppose the MP government's dictatorial attitude," the CPI(M) statement said.