Veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai has been threatened of legal action by a right-wing group called the Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) for inviting Nandini Sundar who has written extensively about the Naxal conflict in India, on his talk show on India Today.
Responding to the legal threat, Sardesai said:
I believe in a democratic newsroom. I believe a newsroom must have space for all shades of opinion, except those who incite hate and violence. Our show had the minister of state for home and a former CRPF DG along with a Nandini Sundar who is an acknowledged scholar and writer on the Naxal conflict. You or I don’t have to agree with all her views but she is an important voice who deserves to be heard. I will not allow the RW to dictate who to invite on my show because they have an ideological or personal issue. The attempt to intimidate me will just not work!
The news was shared by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri via a tweet which elicited a strong response from the journalist himself.
Now the RW loonies will decide who to invite on shows! Wow! Hate-mongers ok, scholars not! https://t.co/df6dFMDcSS— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 25, 2017
Nandini Sundar – who is a DU Professor – was invited to the talk show hosted by Sardesai to discuss the deadly Sukma attack which claimed the lives of 25 CRPF personnel. Other guests on the show included Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir and IPS officer Dilip Trivedi.
Sundar in the talk show expressed regret at the death of CRPF personnel, but questioned the government’s role in events leading to the Sukma incident. She also urged the Centre to rethink its strategy to control the growing issue of Naxalism in the country.
‘Apologise or Face Legal Action’
In the letter written by the convener of the LRO Vinay Joshi, it is alleged that Sundar is an “overground Naxal worker who pursues relentless agenda of defaming our troops and glorifying blood thirsty Naxals and Maoists.”
It further goes on to blame the channel and Sardesai for promoting “pro-Naxal policy” which is working against the interests of the Indian troops. It also threatens the channel with a complaint under the stringent UAPA Act if it does not apologise for inviting Sundar on the show.
Find the copy of the complaint in the tweet below.