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Govt muzzling dissent: Cong on FIR over alleged Aadhaar data breach

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

New Delhi: The Congress yesterday accused the central government of "muzzling dissent" and adopting an "ostrich-like approach" by "prosecuting" the newspaper and the journalist who exposed the alleged Aadhaar data breach.

Dubbing it as "a clear attack on journalism", Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari alleged that there have been systematic assaults on scribes and an atmosphere of fear and violence has been created against them.

He asked the people need to introspect whether they want a liberal, democratic India or a theocratic and fascist country.

Media organisations have been systematically hounded and targeted, he alleged and demanded that the FIR "against 'The Tribune' and the journalist" be withdrawn "if the government believes in the freedom of press".

"The newspaper which warns the government that the privacy and the private data of thousands of citizens are at risk is rewarded with an FIR which names the journalist as well as the institution itself," Tewari told reporters.

"If this is not fascism, if this is not trying to muzzle dissent, if this is not gross abuse of state authority, then I am afraid, we possibly do not have a definition for it....

"That is why time has come for all progressive, right thinking and patriotic forces to stand united against this systematic repression which has been unleashed on democratic dissent by the Narendra Modi Government," he said. The Congress spokesperson said the first people who sensed such an atmosphere were the creative community which as early as September 2014 launched which was called by some as the "Award Wapsi Movement".

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