Yesterday, in a massive crackdown, the Maharashtra police had conducted raids in several cities and has arrested alleged Naxal sympathisers on charges of inciting the Bhima-Koregaon violence and indulging in activities that included a plot to assassinate PM Modi. Since then, there has been a surge in related news and updates in the media over the issue. Even the social media is abuzz with views and counter views. Many news portals are running a ‘live update’ stream as the so-called ‘activists’ and their powerful lawyers attempt to get the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter.
However, while many national newspapers and media outlets have maintained a neutral view over the matter there are some newspapers and media portals who have already decided on the ‘innocence’ of the arrested individuals and have started deriding the government’s move as harassment of dissenting voices.
Kolkata based newspaper The Telegraph ran today a big headline titled ‘Absolutely Chilling’ and went ahead to portray how the government has arrested the ‘activists’.
The frontpage article had given a brief description of the five arrested, though skipping crucial information like how Gonsalves was arrested by ATS in 2007 and with a considerable cache of detonators and explosives were found in his person.
The Mumbai Mirror carried a report where it quoted ‘activists’ like Ramachandra Guha and Arundhati Roy and began with the line, “The nationwide crackdown on civil and human rights activists sparked a widespread political outrage”
Leftist propaganda website The Wire ran an editorial titled ‘Midnight knock at democracy’s door’. The article claimed that the arrest of the ‘activists’ is part of a new narrative that is being manufactured to claim that the dissenting voices are actually the enemy within who are not just against the governmnet but also against the nation itself. Among other things, it claimed that the police are getting away with ‘criminalisation of dissent’ and all this is a preparation for 2019 general elections.
Another leftist propaganda website The Quint ran an opinion piece by DU professor Apoorvanand, which claimed the arrests as a ‘witch hunt’. It claimed that the Modi governmnet is being insecure and is making people believe in the phenomenon of Urban Naxalism by claiming that dangerous killers are masquerading as teachers and activists.
Many individuals have expressed their opinions over the arrests but news portals brazenly discrediting the legal system terming the arrests as undemocratic is bizzare, especially when the same outlets never hesitate to brand petty crimes as ‘kanwariya violance’ and are also quick to manufacture a religious angle in crimes that had nothing to do with religious violence.