Chandigarh- Members of media houses, lawyers, professors, teachers & students from Panjab University, Intellectuals, writers, social activists and politicians took part in a dharna and demanded withdrawal of the FIR registered against The Tribune, its reporter and whistleblowers. The dharna was organized by The Tribune Employees Union at Sector-17, Chandigarh, which later converted into a big rally here today.
While speaking on the occasion Sunil Jakhar, President PPCC and M.P. said this issue is not only concerned with The Tribune but it is direct infringement in the right of privacy of every citizen of India and the freedom of press. He complimented the reporter for bringing forth the matter of great public interest. In the matters of Gauri Lankesh and NDTV, there may have some personal reasons but this issue pertains to public only. The newspaper has raised the loopholes in the confidential data of billons of aadhaar card holders and the measures must have been taken to check the same. The government should have appreciated the newspaper and honoured the reporter like governments of other countries, who honour the whistleblowers. But here the government took a different stand and registered cases against whistleblowers. This act of Government is undemocratic and it is an attack on the Freedom of Press and Right of Expression. Jakhar also said that Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee will submit a memorandum to the Governor, Punjab, on this issue.
While conveying the message of Capt. Amrinder Singh, Chief Minister Punjab Raveen Thakural , Media advisor to CM Punjab, condemned the issue and appealed to withdraw the FIR. He further said that central government should take strong measures should to ensure the right of privacy of billons of citizens. He added that his government is firmly standing with The Tribune and its brave reporter on the issue. He said some good sense will prevail.
Punjab Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa criticized the government for attacking the media and demanded immediate withdrawal of FIR. He added that one should have the right to criticize the wrong but the central government is not only suppressing the critics from the media & public but also the senior leaders of its own party.
Ravneet Singh Bittu said Sunil Jakhar tried to raise the issue in parliament on aadhaar breach news item published in The Tribune but he was not allowed. He added that this issue is not only pertaining to
The Tribune but each and every citizen is affected.
Earlier, the protesters under the banner of The Tribune Employees Union assembled in front of The Tribune office at Sector-29C, Chandigarh. While addressing the gathering Tribune Employees Union President Anil Kumar Gupta and general secretary Balwinder Singh Jammu strongly condemned an FIR registered against The Tribune, its Reporter Rachana Khaira and others on the news item published regarding Aadhaar data breach. They expressed solidarity with The Tribune reporter and other whistleblowers. They demanded the immediate withdrawal of the FIR and if the government will not act on the same, the union will intensify its agitation. They also added Aadhhar data breach has put the privacy of billions of Indian on stake and rather to take measures to check such a breach, UIDAI preferred FIR to browbeat the reporter and other whistleblowers.
Surinder Kumar Dabur, , Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Bharat Bhushan Ashu MLAs from Punjab, Subash Chawla, Former Mayor Chandigarh, Rabinder Nath Sharma, Member Syndicate Panjab University, Sukhdev Singh, President Punjab Sahitya Academy, Prof. Manjit Singh, Balbir Singh Jandu, Chairman PCJU, Jagtar Singh Sidhu, Editor Sade Pind, Surinder Singh, R.S. Sathi, Committee Member Haryana All India Lawyer Union, Sarbjit Singh, general secretary, Kendriya Lekhak Sabha, Harbans Singh Dholewal, President Democratic Swaraj Party, Pyare Lal Garg, Former Registrar BFU spoke on the occasion and also condemned the behavior of UIDAI and central government and demanded immediate withdrawal of the FIR. They said this is not an attack on media but the breach of right of privacy of citizens of India.
Later the union delegation led by Anil Kumar Gupta, President of the union submitted a memorandum to honourable Governor, Punjab and Administrator (U.T.) Chandigarh and appealed the Prime Minister of India to intervene and withdraw the FIR.