Guv's office bans four TV channels from his press conference; political parties, KUWJ raise protest

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Arif Mohammad Khan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Governor's office on Monday barred four television channels from entering the Raj Bhavan here to cover his press conference, prompting political parties and the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) to mark their protest saying it was an encroachment on the freedom of press.

Soon after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's press meet, journalists approached Governor Arif Mohammed Khan for his reaction but he refused to comment saying he won't reply to party cadres "masquerading" as journalists.

"I can only tell you, please whosoever wants to talk to me, they can send a request to Raj Bhavan, I will make it sure that I talk to you. But I don't know who among you is a genuine journalist and who are the cadre masquerading as media. And I do not wish to speak to the cadre," Khan told the media after an event in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Later, he called a press conference but channels including Kairali, Reporter, Media One and Jaihind were not given permission to cover the same.

"It's not right on behalf of the Governor, which is a constitutional post, to deny permission to a section of media. Avoiding the media is a fascist approach. This is not good for a democracy," Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan said.

Meanwhile, the KUWJ registered its strong protest against the ban on certain channels.

"The ban amounts to encroaching upon the freedom of press. There are media houses which have sought time as the Governor insisted. The ban on a section of media cannot be accepted from a constitutional institution. If this continues, KUWJ will be forced to raise strong protests," KUWJ said in a statement.


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