Sun, 07 Jun 2020

New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI): The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on Monday expressed "grave concern" over "tendency among people belonging to a certain section of society resorting to abuses and threats against anchors and reporters working in news channels", and appealed to law enforcement agencies to take immediate preventive action against such anti-social elements.

"News Broadcasters Association (NBA) views with grave concern the tendency among people belonging to a certain section of society resorting to abuses and threats against anchors and reporters working in news channels," the NBA said in a statement.

It underlined that this particular trend has been noticed after electronic media recently "exposed the role of Tablighi Jamaat in the spread of coronavirus, resulting in a nationwide spurt in number of positive cases and subsequent deaths.""Anchors and reporters working in news channels are being specifically targetted through social media platforms like WhatsApp, TikTok and Twitter. There are videos circulating on social media in which some religious preachers are naming some TV news anchors and threatening attacks on the reporters of those channels," the NBA stated.

"NBA strongly deplores this pernicious trend in a section of society and appeals to the government and law enforcing agencies to take immediate preventive action against such anti-social elements," it added.

Hailing electronic media for "exemplary work" in reporting coronavirus outbreak in India during the current lockdown, it said the overall tenor of reporting has been fair, accurate and balanced.

The NBA asserted that all sections of society are given fair representation on TV debates on coronavirus outbreak.

"NBA calls upon religious fundamentalists to desist from issuing open threats and making insinuations against news channels. Such activities are violative of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, as enshrined in our Constitution," it said.

"News channels are available to all sections of society including the fundamentalists. NBA would like these leaders to come forward and clear their stand on the role of Tablighi Jamaat in spreading the coronavirus," the statement added.

The NBA is the association exclusively of 24x7 news broadcasters in India.

The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in India climbed to 4,067, said Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday. Several people who attended the religious gathering in Delhi's Nizamuddin area have tested positive for coronavirus in several states. (ANI)

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