The Editors Guild of India condemned Union minister Smriti Irani for recent, separate instances of intimidation and harassment of journalists.

The Guild is deeply disturbed by the intimidatory conduct of the Union minister and would like to remind Ms Irani that threats to journalists impinge directly on press freedom.

Pointing to an exchange between Union minister Smriti Irani and a stringer in Amethi, her parliamentary constituency, and an FIR filed by the Left government against an Asianet journalist in Kerala, the Guild said such “trigger-happy approach to browbeat and harass reporters.

Last week, a journalist with Dainik Bhaskar asked the Union minister for a comment while she was in Amethi. Irani responded by saying that the reporter “trying to force her to speak” amounted to insulting the people of her constituency.

The EGI statement said that it is a “matter of deep concern that mere reportage on political leaders can invite an FIR and questioning by the police”, while urging the Kerala government to withdraw the case immediately.

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