New Delhi, Nov 03 (KMS): The raid on founder editor and other editors of The Wire on a complaint lodged by Bharatiya Janata Party has drawn ire of the International Press Institute (IPI) which has asked Indian government to stop harassing media persons.
IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen urged the Indian authorities to stop their harassment of The Wire and its editors and return all equipment seized.
India police raided offices and residence of The Wire editors Siddharth Varadarajan, MK Venu, Sidharth Bhatia, and Jahnavi Sen in relation to a news report in which The Wire claimed that Amit Malviya had a special arrangement with the Meta under which the platform would remove content upon BJP’s demand. The Wire later retracted its report after finding that it was based on forged and fabricated documents. the news portal also issued a corrigendum expressing the resolve of a conducting a comprehensive inquiry into the matter. However, Malviya filed an FIR against the web portal mostly highlighting India’s soft belly and its Hindutva ideology for forgery and defamation.
IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said that the raids on the news site’s offices and the homes of its editors, as well as the confiscation of mobile phones and other devices which may contain sensitive information related to the journalists’ work, are disproportionate, excessive, and a violation of press freedom.
He went on to say: “The Wire has already stated that its news reporting in this case was not accurate and has taken steps to address the issue. However, this controversy must not be used as an excuse to intimidate The Wire as one of India’s leading critical news sites.”