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Journalists, activists hold march to protest arrest of Kanojia, two others

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A group of journalists and activists held a protest here on Monday over the arrest of scribe and the and the head of a Noida-based channel by the police, alleging that it is an attack on the freedom of expression.

They demanded the immediate release of Kanojia, Ishita Singh, who is the of Noida-based channel Nation Live, and its head Anuj Shukla, who have faced police action over release of alleged objectionable content against

The journalists, many wearing black arm bands and holding placards, held a symbolic march from the Press Club of in central towards the Rail Bhawan circle and back in the scorching heat and raised slogans against the

Kanojia's wife Jageesha Arora, who also joined the protest, said, "My husband's arrest is absolutely illegal and unconstitutional. So, now, people can get arrested for writing something on and using humour."

The protest was held jointly by members of the of India, Press Club of India, Indian Women Press Corps, South Asian Women in the Media, and several other independent journalists and activists.

"Today, journalists can get arrested for using humour and irony in a post. This incident is a direct attack on freedom of expression," alleged Siddharth Varadarajan, founding of portal The Wire.

"Kanojia had served for around two years at our organisation (The Wire) before moving on to a new job earlier this year," he added.

Senior Neerja Chowdhury, who took part in the protest too, also alleged that the arrest of the three persons amounted to an attack on the freedom of expression.

Activist also demanded immediate dropping of the charges against Kanojia, Singh and Shukla and sought their release.

The Sunday had condemned the arrest of and Shukla over alleged objectionable content related to Yogi Adityanath, describing the police action as an "authoritarian misuse of laws" and an effort to intimidate the press.

An FIR was registered against Kanojia at station in on Friday night in which it was alleged that the accused made "objectionable comments against the CM and tried to malign his image".

Kanojia had shared a video on and where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various outside the CM's office, claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to

Meanwhile, the on Monday agreed to hear on Tuesday a plea challenging the arrest of Kanojia.

A vacation bench comprising justices and took note of the submission by a that the plea filed by the spouse of the arrested scribe needed urgent hearing as the arrest was "illegal" and "unconstitutional".

The journalist's wife has filed a habeas corpus (bring the person) petition, challenging the arrest of Kanojia.

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

First Published: Mon, June 10 2019. 17:35 IST