“Journalists are not there just for praising wearing blindfolds. Their job is to make news on public issues and seek answers from the government,” she tweeted in September 2019. She spoke up again in July this year, when a journalist was shot in Ghaziabad.
But in Chhattisgarh, where members of her party stand accused of attacking a group of journalists in a police station on September 26, Gandhi and the rest of the Congress top brass are yet to break their silence.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has incorrectly characterised the assault as a fight between rival groups of journalists, even as those attacked say they have been targeted for reporting the news and seeking answers from the government – precisely the sort of thing that Gandhi claims journalists ought to be doing.
The incident occurred at around 1.30 pm on September 26 when Satish Yadav, a journalist with a local Hindi newspaper Subah ka Prahari, was sitting at a tea stall in Kanker’s local market area not far from Kanker police station headed by inspector Moryadhwaj Deshmukh.
“I had been reporting on the corruption related to Kanker Nagar Palika for the last few months. Around 8-10 people came in an SUV there and began abusing me. This group included Jitendra Singh Thakur, who is the former president of Kanker Nagar Palika, Maqbool Khan who was the vice president of the Nagar Palika, Councillor Shadab Khan, and some others. They began beating and dragging me towards the police station. They took me inside the police station and beat me up in front of the police inspector and told him to lock me up,” Yadav told HuffPost India.
Yadav was publicly assaulted and dragged to the Kanker police station and as this news reached local journalists, many of them including Kamal Shukla, the editor of Bhumkal Samachar,...