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We, the undersigned citizens of the country, express Anguish and Disappointment on the abuse of power by Maharashtra Police against Republic Media Network , its journalists, employees and Editor-in-Chief, Sh. Arnab Goswami, who is running one of the country's largest media network. We reiterate our solidarity and support for Republic and Arnab Goswami in this witch-hunting carried by the Maharashtra Police, which we believe is not appropriate.

Republic Media Network has done a tremendous job in hosting a lot of issues on their program and therefore is popular among the mass. The actions taken by Maharashtra Police against Republic Media Network in past few months are unprecedented and mala-fide in nature. Maharashtra Police started haunting the Republic Media because of their unstoppable and continuous coverage of cases including Palghar Sadhu Lynching case and Sushant Singh Rajput alleged murder case.

In both these cases, questions were raised on the conduct of Maharashtra Police and Republic Media Network left no stone unturned in pointing out the alleged involvement of police and administration, through facts and evidence, which is their fundamental right. Now, the actions of Maharashtra Police are further proving the points raised by Republic Network.

In the ongoing TRP scam case, the way in which Param Bir Singh, Police Commissioner of Mumbai, undertook a press conference and accused Republic Media Network, is also shocking because of the fact that the original FIR didn't name Republic Media Network at all.

The intention of Maharashtra Police seems to curb the rights guaranteed to Republic Media Network of free reporting and Freedom of Speech and Expression in the name of one FIR or another. Republic Media Network may have been critical to Maharashtra Government and Maharashtra Police , but being the responsible fourth pillar of our Country, it is constitutionally mandated role of media and journalists to keep a check on governmental excesses and violations of fundamental rights by the state. Such criticism, however fiercely expressed, is in fact a plea to the system to engage with these public concerns. Bona fide criticism, especially by journalists, must be taken in the spirit in which it is made – to introspect and thereby strengthen the nation. If the police of the state starts acting in such draconian manner, there would be no meaning of democratic values in the society.

Every institution in a democracy has to earn the public’s affection and respect, and the hallmark of a strong institution is its openness to public scrutiny and commentary. A democratic nation like India cannot repeat the mistake of past when the media was banned from reporting during the time of emergency. Today it is Arnab and Republic, tomorrow it could be anybody. The Government of India must interfere in these fascist acts of Maharashtra Police and stop this witch-hunt at the earliest so as to protect Freedom of Press and Media which is very much, a part of Indian Constitution.

#MaharashtraPolice, #RepublicMediaNetwork, #ArnabGoswami, #PalgharSadhuLynching, #SushantSinghRajput, #TRPScam, #ParamBirSingh, #FreedomOfSpeech, #MaharashtraGovernment, #FreedomOfPress