Centre to draft SOPs for journalists | Fusion - WeRIndia

Centre to draft SOPs for journalists

Centre to draft SOPs for journalists

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be drafting a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the safety and security of journalists.

This is in response to the recent tragic incident in Uttar Pradesh, where two individuals were killed by assailants posing as journalists.

The decision was made following the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The SOP is expected to outline guidelines for media personnel when following an accused or conducting interviews in police or judicial custody.

The attackers, who killed gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf, carried identity cards, a mic, and a camera. They posed like reporters during the attack.

One of the accused shot Ahmed at point-blank range while he was interacting with media personnel. The incident was captured live on television cameras.

The police filed an FIR after the incident as the assailants threw the mic and camera and opened fire with semi-automatic weapons.

One of the accused was injured in cross-firing. Even some media personnel were also injured in a stampede-like situation.

It is not the first time that the MHA has expressed concern about the safety of journalists.

In 2017, the Ministry issued an advisory to all states. It urged them to strictly enforce the law to maintain a peaceful environment that allows journalists to exercise freedom of speech and expression.

The advisory emphasized that the Fourth Estate is an essential institution of democracy. It ensures that citizens can express their opinions without fear or coercion.

The MHA’s upcoming SOP will likely build on this advisory. They will provide specific guidelines to ensure the safety and security of journalists in potentially dangerous situations.

Many states are already empowered to provide security to individuals based on threat perceptions. And the SOP will likely outline a more standardized approach to protecting journalists.

The tragic incident in Uttar Pradesh highlights the need for greater attention to the safety of journalists. They play a critical role in maintaining an informed and engaged citizenry.

The upcoming SOP from the MHA will hopefully provide a clear framework for ensuring the safety and security of media personnel. Also, they will help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Image by Swadhin Das from Pixabay (Free for commercial use)

Image Reference: https://pixabay.com/photos/journalists-reporter-video-tv-2944634/

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