Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday lauded the media and police for their role in the safe return of a six-year-old girl who had been abducted by unknown kidnappers in Kollam.
However, he urged journalists to engage in introspection when reporting on such incidents.
Addressing a press conference here, Vijayan hailed the significant role played by the media in providing timely information to society and keeping the public informed about developments related to the incident.
At the same time, he emphasised the need for discussion and self-criticism regarding the precautions the media should take when reporting on such incidents.
"It is good to bring the details of the progress of the investigation to the people in due course of time. But vigil should be maintained so that it does not become a loophole for criminals to escape," Vijayan said.
The chief minister, who was touring the northern district as part of the Nava Kerala Yatra programme, also urged the media not to approach individuals deeply affected by such incidents with "inappropriate questions." He made these remarks in response to severe criticism on social media directed at a group of mediapersons who were accused of gathering information without respecting the privacy of the child's family, consequently impacting the progress of the investigation to trace the kidnapped girl.
In addition to expressing gratitude towards the police and the media, the chief minister also commended the involvement of local residents in locating the abducted girl.
He appreciated the girl's brother, Jonathan, who conveyed his state of mind and provided crucial information to the police regarding the kidnappers.
Describing it as one of the most extensive manhunts conducted by the police in recent times, he highlighted the participation of thousands of police personnel in the mission.
It is expected that culprits could be brought before law at the earliest, the chief minister further said and reiterated that there would be no compromise against those who commit violence against women and children.
All of Kerala and the parents of the six-year-old girl, who was abducted, heaved a sigh of relief after the child was found abandoned, but unharmed, by her captors at a public ground at Kollam on Tuesday afternoon.
The child was found abandoned at Kollam's Asramam ground by female students of a nearby college and was later hospitalised.
The police said it has intensified its efforts to trace and nab the kidnappers.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.