Kerala HC instructs police to provide protection to Asianet offices

Justice N Nagaresh issued a directive to the State Police in response to a plea made by Asianet, which expressed its fear of "further violence and threats" from the pro-Left student organization SFI and the CPI(M) youth wing DYFI, and requested protection against them.

Kerala HC instructs police to provide protection to Asianet offices
According to the channel's allegation, on March 3rd, approximately 30 SFI activists illegally entered its Kochi office and threatened the staff with severe consequences.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the police to provide adequate protection to offices of prominent Malayalam news channel Asianet.

The direction to the State Police by Justice N Nagaresh came on the channels plea claiming it apprehends “further violence and threats” from pro-Left student organisation SFI and CPI(M) youth wing DYFI and seeking protection against the same.

Also Read: Journalist bodies condemn SFI ‘attack’ on Asianet office in Kochi

In its petition, the channel alleged that on March 3 around 30 SFI activists forcefully trespassed into its Kochi office and intimidated the staff there with dire consequences.


It has also alleged that work there was interrupted and was stopped for nearly an hour by the miscreants who also “wrongfully confined” the staff for nearly an hour.

“The 8th respondent (DYFI) through public platforms and social media has declared they will launch all Kerala protest against the petitioner news channel.

“Barging into a media office is illegal and is a blatant attack on the freedom of press. The fundamental right to seek and disseminate information through an independent press is under attack,” the channel has said in its petition.

Also Read: I&B ministry lifts 48-hour ban on Asianet News, Media One

Disposing of the plea, the High Court directed that protection be provided to the Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kannur offices of channel.

It also ordered that in case of a possibility of conflict or violence, sufficient numbers of police have to be deployed.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, recently in the state assembly, had said that SFI activists had organised a protest march to the channel’s office against the making of an allegedly fake video, using a minor girl.

The video content amounted to spreading the misapprehension that government schools in the state were in the grip of drugs, the CM had said.

Also Read: Kerala CM a ‘Modi in dhoti’: LoP Satheesan

He had also said that on the channels complaint a case was registered and eight persons arrested in connection with the trespass into its Kochi office.