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Aadhaar data breach FIR: Pb Cong govt extends support to

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

Punjab's today extended its support to the protest by 'The Tribune' employees against filing of an FIR against the newspaper's over a report on alleged breach of data.

employees union today staged a demonstration demanding revocation of the FIR, during which Cabinet Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, state and to the joined the protesters, said an official release here.

Bajwa lashed out at the alleged "witch hunt" unleashed by the central against 'The Tribune' over her data breach report.

Filing of FIR against 'The Tribune' amounted to "sheer victimisation" and could not be condoned at any cost, he said, adding such acts were in violation of the democratic ethos and principles.

Jakhar also lashed out at the Centre for the registration of the FIR against the scribe.

Pointing out that the had opposed when they were in the Opposition in the Centre, Jakhar said the Centre should plug the flaws in the Aadhaar system and ensure that privacy was safeguarded.

The entire leakage episode should be investigated, he demanded.

Jakhar accused the BJP-led at the Centre of suppressing the voice of the media, and the people and said that this did not behove well of a democratically-elected government.

"How can a be prosecuted for doing her work, without malice," Bajwa and Jakhar asked, adding that the way the central government was stifling the voice of democratic institutions did not augur well for the country.

All democratic forces should come together to fight this trend, which, if unchecked, would destroy the very fabric which holds the nation together, they said.

Thukral conveyed Amarinder Singh's personal support to the agitating Tribune employees during a visit to their here today.

Though the could not meet them personally as he was indisposed, he had assured of his government's full backing to the media in the interest of "press freedom", Thukral told the protestors.

"The was in favour of the central government plugging the Aadhaar leaks instead of putting the plug on the system which had exposed the loopholes," said Thukral, adding the government in would do its best to fully protect the freedom of the fourth pillar of democracy.

Thukral said he was personally shocked by the "act of persecution" and urged the Centre to withdraw the FIR and order a thorough investigation into the alleged leakage of Aadhar data.

The has registered an "open-ended" First Information Report (FIR) on a complaint from Unique Identification Authority of (UIDAI) over the report on the alleged data breach of more than one billion Aadhaar numbers.

The UIDAI's complaint sparked condemnation from the Confederation of Newspaper and Agency Employees' Organisations which demanded its withdrawal. Calling it an attack on the free press, the Confederation had said the UIDAI should highlight errors in the report, if any, instead of taking penal action.

Though the complaint named four persons, including the Chandigarh-based daily The Tribune's who had filed the story on alleged breach in Aadhaar database, Law and IT Minister had said the FIR was against "unknown" entities.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 21:50 IST