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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Kerala governor expels two channels from press conference

Kerala Union of Working Journalists condemns move, says the Raj Bhavan had refused permission to Jai Hind TV for the news conference

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 08.11.22, 02:56 AM
Arif Mohammed Khan

Arif Mohammed Khan File picture

Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan expelled the reporters and camera crew of two prominent Malayalam channels from a news conference in spite of the Raj Bhavan inviting them for the interaction in Kochi on Monday.

Khan had on October 24 barred the two channels, along with the Congress-backed Jai Hind TV and Reporter Live, from attending a news conference at the Raj Bhavan. On Monday, Khan ordered the reporters and the camera crew to “get out”.

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The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) condemned the governor’s move in a news release and said the Raj Bhavan had refused permission to Jai Hind TV for the news conference.

The KUWJ will organise a protest march to the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

While Reporter Live boycotted the conference, representatives of all other media houses stayed on. A few of them questioned Khan about the rationale behind barring a section of the media.

“Is there anybody from Kairali? If there is any camera there, I will walk away,” Khan warned before a reporter from Media One announced his presence. The governor who appeared livid, said: “I don’t want to talk to you. Get out. I won’t talk to you. And I won’t talk to Kairali. Please go away.”

“I won’t talk to Media One and I won’t talk to Kairali. Please if there is anybody, get out from here,” he repeated.

The “get out” command comes from Khan who was highly critical of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s “kadakku purathu” (Malayalam for “get out”) when the latter lost his cool on seeing a large media contingent at a venue where a CPM-BJP peace meeting was held in 2017.

On why he was against criticism, Khan said any ordinary citizen could criticise him but those appointed by him should not. “Can you criticise your MD? You will have to resign (from) your job. There are certain proprieties,” Khan said.

Chief editor of Kairali TV and Rajya Sabha member John Brittas described Monday’s incident as the birth of a dictator.

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