THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A US media watchdog has urged the Indian authorities to conduct a detailed probe into the hundreds of threatening calls being made to Asianet coordinating editor Sindhu Sooryakumar.
“Indian authorities should take all measures necessary to protect her,” said Mr Sumit Galhotra, senior research associate of the Committee to Protect Journalist Asia Programme.
“Journalists should feel free to raise questions and foster debate, including during times of controversy, without fear of reprisal,” he said. When contacted, Ms Sindhu said she had been receiving support from various organisations within the country and abroad. “I am being punished for something which I had never said in my show,” she told DC.
The journalist started getting threatening calls after anchoring a discussion on February 26 whether Mahishasur Jayanti could be considered as an act of treason.
This debate was in the background of HRD Minister Smriti Irani quoting a poster of one of the events held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University that referred to goddess Durga as a sex worker, and whether it was a right practice for the government to intervene and dictate how people should celebrate or not celebrate certain festivals.
Ms Sindhu got over 2,000 threatening calls made allegedly by pro-Hindutva outfits, during the last five days. “They abused me in Malayalam and English, calling me a prostitute and threatened to physically harm me,” she said. The police had arrested five persons in connection with the incident.
The journalist is still getting hate calls, though the frequency has decreased. “I am appalled to see the accused being garlanded by pro-Hindutva outfits on their release,” she said. The journalist said that she feared that under pressure from Hindu outfits, the police could even register a case of sedition branding her as anti-national....