New Delhi: ‘The government of India’s Telangana state must immediately release Ravi Prakash, founder of independent Telugu news website Tolivelugu, and ensure he is not harassed because of his work,” said the CPJ(Committee to Protect Journalists) in a statement demanding TV9 founder Ravi Prakash’s release. Steven Butler, CPJ Asia program coordinator in Washington, D.C has condemned the arrest of Ravi Prakash and stated that the senior journalist was clearly being persecuted in retaliation for critical coverage on the Tolivelugu news website. In an article published in the official website, CPJ unveiled the truths behind the illegal arrest and rebuked the way government of Telangana and the so-called allies tried to persuade ToliVelugu team to hide the truth. ‘This arrest is in retaliation for his refusal to withdraw two interviews on his news portal accusing the Telangana chief minister and a leading industrialist of corruption,’ read the article.
CPJ also took the instances of the similar cases documented in the Telugu states when the political parties have threatened, physically attacked, and even arrested journalists. ‘In July this year, Mojo TV’s then-CEO, Revathi Pogadadanda, was arrested in Hyderabad. Earlier in February, her channel’s crew was attacked on the streets over its coverage of women’s admission to the Sabarimala temple and resulting protests,” it stated.
The demands to release Ravi Prakash are pouring in across the country. All the journalist bodies in the state have already condemned the arrest of the Ravi Prakash who played a pivotal role in Telugu journalism.