Reporters Without Orders Ep 153: Internet shutdown, attacks on journalists, and updates after Tractor Rally
In this episode, host Snigdha Sharma is joined by Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari, Basant Kumar, and Nidhi Suresh to discuss the ongoing farmer protests and the events that unfolded after the tractor rally on January 26.
Basant describes the absurdity of the police barricading Singhu border. “What can be more bizarre than being there, and feeling as if we’re standing at India’s international border with so many BSP and CRPF officers guarding it?” he asks. “Tall, newly-constructed cement walls and ghastly nails affixed on the road..."
Nidhi explains how the police have barred journalists from entering the protest site. She then talks about a help desk set up by a lawyers’ collective under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha that tracks protesters who have gone missing since Republic Day. “It’s a really big task,” she points out, “because it’s such a large protest.”
Nidhi also talks about how a lawyer was reportedly told by the police to file an RTI to get a copy of an FIR filed in the context of the protest. “As per law, you are supposed to be handed the FIR copy,” she says. “And if you are a lawyer, you have to get it.”
The panel also discusses the attacks on journalists, the citizens’ march in support of the farmers, the internet shutdown at protest sites, and how the government is using Covid as a “double standard”.
All this and a lot more as they talk about what made news this week, what didn’t, and what shouldn’t have.
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