Indian Journalists Union calls for a National Law to Protect Scribes

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New Delhi : The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) called for a law at the national level to protect the journalists from attacks and to compensate their families in case a tragedy struck them.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Union which met in Delhi at Press Club of India, on Sunday, in a resolution, called upon the Government of India to take the initiative to bring such a law to ensure the safety of the journalists as they were not 'safe anywhere in the country and that many of our colleagues have suffered at the hands of various mafias in many states including the North East and Kashmir.' It expressed its pain and anguish at the martyrdom of 'our late colleague Jyothirmoy Dey in Mumbai last month' and regretted slow pace of police investigation of the case.

At the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, attended by representatives from 14 States, the newly elected President S N Sinha of Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) and Secretary-General Devulapalli Amar of Andhra Prdesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) took over charge as President and Secretary General respectively of IJU.

In a resolution, the NEC of Indian Journalists Union (IJU) condemned the unethical and illegal practices, resorted to in the news media empire of Rupert Murdoch in Britain and elsewhere. It called upon the media persons in the country to draw right lessons from the episode and resolve firmly to refrain from pursuing the path of sensational and unethical reporting.

In another resolution, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) urged upon the Government of India to take steps to amend the Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act immediately to include the journalists working in the electronic media in the definition of the working journalists and bring them under the purview of the Press Council of India by renaming it as Media Council. It also demanded that the Government of India should appoint third Media Commission to study the state of the media in the country.

The NEC of IJU strongly resented the lackadaisical attitude of the Government of India towards the recommendations of the Justice Majithia wage boards for journalists and other newspaper employees in the country. 'The working journalists and other newspaper employees who have been waiting for revision of their wages for the last 12 years are no more prepared to wait indefinitely. They will take recourse to direct action if the government fails to present their case before the Supreme Court in proper and correct perspective to get the approval from it for notification of the wage board recommendations. The NEC of the IJU calls on all the organizations of the journalists and other newspaper employees to launch a united struggle under the banner of the Confederation of newspaper and news agencies employees organizations to defeat the machinations of the media barons and their supporters in the government of India' the resolution added. It called upon the various state Governments and the Government of India to immediately take steps to appoint tripartite Committees at the state level and at the central to oversee the implementation of the Wage Board recommendations.

In another resolution, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) condemned the Bennet and Colman, the Owners of the Times of India group for illegally closing down the Printing Press Section at Patna and dismissing 44 employees working there on 15th July 2011. It has outsourced the printing job to Prabhat Khabar. The closure of the press and dismissal of the 44 employees was in violation of the Working Journalists and other newspaper Employees (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act as it prohibited such actions on the eve of the notification of the Wage Board recommendations. It demanded that the press section should be reopened and the 44 dismissed employees should be re-instated immediately with back wages. Press Release