Chandigarh

CHANDIGARH PRESS CLUB PROTEST AGAINST FIR ON TRIBUNE REPORTER, SEEKS WITHDRAWAL OF CASE

January 09, 2018 08:42 AM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

Members of media fraternity in the region carry out a strong protest against the UIDAI’s decision to lodge an FIR; seek felicitation of the reporter and an inquiry into how demographic information of crorers of countrymen has been allegedly leaked; memo submitted to Punjab Governor.

Members, who protested peacefully, said, that the reporter, Ms Khaira, actually deserved to be felicitated and the government needed to introspect and strengthen the Aadhaar-based system. Interestingly, the government has launched a drive to link the Aadhaar number to all its services. The Tribune’s report, thus assumes added significance, and needs to be taken even more seriously.

Calling the registration of a cheating case against The Tribune, its Jalandhar-based reporter, Rachna Khaira, and others as a direct attack on the freedom of press, members of the Chandigarh Press Club and others from the media fraternity carried out a protest in the city on Monday. The sizeable number of journalists expressed their anguish and anger at the state of affairs arising out of the unjust case against a fellow colleague and an iconic publication of the region, at a protest gathering at the Chandigarh Press Club.

In its report carrying the byline of Ms Khaira on January 3, The Tribune had exposed how, for a small sum of money made to a payment bank, an agent of a private group allegedly created a gateway to access details of an individual’s Aadhaar card.

In a subsequent statement, the UIDAI had subsequently denied that any data breach was possible. The Tribune had also carried a point-by-point counter-rebuttal of the UIDAI’s rejoinder in its next day’s edition.

“The Chandigarh media fraternity is deeply shocked. We condemn the UIDAI’s action in having the reporter booked. This is an attempt to browbeat a journalist who has, in fact, done a report in great public interest,” said Chandigarh Press Club president, Jaswant Rana.

Members, who protested peacefully, said, that the reporter, Ms Khaira, actually deserved to be felicitated and the government needed to introspect and strengthen the Aadhaar-based system. Interestingly, the government has launched a drive to link the Aadhaar number to all its services. The Tribune’s report, thus assumes added significance, and needs to be taken even more seriously.

 “Instead of penalising the reporter, the UIDAI should order a thorough investigation into the loopholes that the report had exposed,” said Chandigarh Press Club secretary general Barinder Rawat.

UIDAI is a government organisation and its complaint against the paper and the reporter is unfair, unjustified and a direct attack on the freedom of the press, the members said.President of the Club Mr. Jaswant Singh Rana, said finally, the members of the Chandigarh Press Club and other members of the media fraternity resolved that they will work to ensure that that Centre takes steps to withdraw the cases against the reporter, and conducts an impartial investigation into the security of demographic and biometric information of 118 crore Indians who rely on Aadhaar to provide them security of a verifiable trusted identification.                                                                      

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