Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil on Sunday told the Hindi news channels, operating in the state, that they do not need to be scared of Raj Thackeray. The MNS chief, earlier in the day, said that he would shut down all the Hindi news channels if they do not stop misquoting his speeches.
Patil, however, assured the Hindi news of full protection. "Hindi media should not be fear Raj Thackeray's warning. We will provide security to media if required," the Maharashtra Home Minister said in Akola.
Speaking at a party meeting in Mumbai, Thackeray said, "I want to tell the Hindi news channel to first understand the issue before it is broadcast... Otherwise we know how to stop it."
The MNS leader's reaction came after some Hindi news channels and leaders of JD(U), RJD and BJP from Bihar attacked him for his remarks on August 31 that he would brand Biharis as infiltrators and make them leave Maharashtra. "Why do all criminals flee to states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand after committing crime here," he asked and commented that governments from these states should introspect over it.
Taking a serious note of the threat, Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA), the apex body of editors of electronic news channels, released a press note saying, "The BEA feels that it is not a threat held out against media but an assault on the roots of democracy. Such statements are not acceptable in a democratic society. The statement reveals his contempt for the constitution, rule of law and society."
"As the BEA does not believe in reacting to such aberrations with an element of vindictiveness, it demands that the government at the Centre as also the Maharashtra Government initiate legal action under IPC in larger interest of public confidence in democratic system and rule of law. It also demands of the state government to ensure protection to media personnel in Mumbai against lumpen elements," the press note said.
(With additional information from PTI)
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