Hunger strike against Naveen Soorinje's arrest enters second day

[email protected] (CD Network)
January 6, 2013

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Bangalore, Jan 6: The three-day hunger strike launched by the 'Forum Against Illegal Arrest of Journalists' at Freedom Park in the city demanding the release of Mangalore based TV reporter Naveen Soorinje entered second day on Sunday.

Dozens of journalists and senior editors from a cross-section of print and electronic media outlets have extended support to the ongoing strike.

On Saturday, activists belonging to various human rights and progressive organisations also turned up at the venue to express their solidarity with the cause.

Gangadhar Mudaliar, president of the Karnataka Union of Working Journalists, said the stir is set to intensify over the next few days. “We have instructed all district and taluka-level journalists' bodies to launch similar agitations,” he said.

Mr. Soorinje covering Mangalore district for 'Kasturi Newz 24/7', was instrumental in exposing the July 28 attack by activists of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike on a group of innocent boys and girls who were celebrating a birthday party at a homestay in Mangalore. He was arrested on November 7 by the Mangalore police on charges ranging from “rioting with deadly weapons,” criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and using criminal force on a woman with the intention of outraging her modesty. The police also invoked Sections 3 and 4 of The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986. Those present unanimously backed the view that the charges slapped against Mr. Soorinje were a blatant attempt to muzzle the press. They also held that Mr. Soorinje should have been listed as a witness in the case and not an accused as it was his team's footage that had helped the police identify and nab the culprits.

Speaking on behalf of the agitating journalists, editor of Public TV H.R. Ranganath said: “Through this arrest, the State government is sending a message to the journalist fraternity that they will be punished for anti-establishment reportage.”

Ananth Chinivar, editor of Janashree TV said: “It is becoming extremely difficult for journalists to function independently and fearlessly in Karnataka. This [Mr. Soorinje's arrest] has set a worrisome precedent.”

TV9 political editor Lakshman Hoogar said: “Through his reportage Mr. Soorinje exposed the right-wing extremism that has taken strong root in coastal Karnataka. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed groups, such as the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Jagarana Vedike, are running amok there unchecked by the police as well as sections of the media. Mr. Soorinje is being punished for carrying critical reports on these groups.” Ranganath Bhardwaj, from Suvarna News 24x7, and Badruddin K. Mani, from Kasturi Newz24, were present.

Subhash Rai, senior web editor, Economic and Political Weekly , said this is a case where even journalists have been forced to submit to the government's will.

Subir Ghosh, resident editor of DNA, said: “The state of free speech and expression in Karnataka has degenerated from being unfortunate to downright sorry.”

V. Sridhar, deputy editor of The Hindu , said: “If one cherishes free press, this is a case that is as fundamental as it gets. A journalist was penalised for performing his duty. I am here to show solidarity with him.”

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News Network
June 18,2021

Bengaluru, Jun 18: India Meteorological Department issued a red warning for Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts of Karnataka on Friday.

According to the weather bulletin dated June 18, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at isolated places over coastal and south interior Karnataka in the next 24 hours. Heavy rainfall is likely to occur at isolated places over North Interior Karnataka, the bulletin mentioned. 

Meanwhile, Shivamogga, Hassan, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru districts were issued an orange warning. Bengaluru will likely receive rainfall, and the surface winds will likely be strong and gusty at times, the bulletin said. The maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 29 and 20 degrees Celsius respectively in Bengaluru.

According to IMD, except for one place in south interior Karnataka, the rest of the areas have experienced heavy to very heavy rainfall between June 17 and June 18, 8.30 am. Bhagamandala in Kodagu district recorded 21 cms of rainfall. Following Bhagamandala, several towns in Shivamogga, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts recorded very heavy to heavy rainfall ranging between 7-18 cm rainfall.

IMD’s regional branch in Bengaluru advised the fishermen to not venture into the sea on June 18 and June 19. 

It also issued a high-wave warning, forecasting high waves in the range of 3.5-4.8 meters till 11 pm until June 19 along the coast of Karnataka from Mangaluru to Karwar. The IMD had earlier announced that parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa, especially the coastal regions in the former two states, are likely to experience heavy rainfall. IMD had issued an orange warning for coastal Karnataka, with heavy rainfall expected to occur from June 14-18 over the region.

A report in a local publication said that the heavy rainfall in Malanadu and the coastal region had disrupted life. Rivers were flooded while roads and bridges in many places were cracked, read the report. The communication in the region was disrupted due to the heavy rainfall.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 24,2021

Bengaluru, Jun 24:  Karnataka has reported 3979 fresh cases of the COVID-19 in the last 24-hours, taking the total number of people infected from the pandemic so far in the state to 2823444 on Wednesday.

According to official sources in the last 24-hours as many as 138 persons had succumbed to the pandemic taking the total number of fatalities so far in the state to 34425.

The sources said that while as many as 9768 covid-19 patients got discharged from various hospitals, after being completely recovered from the disease, there are as many as 110523 active cases across the state.

The sources said that among the total number of 138 deaths, Mysuru district reported 22 cases followed by Bengaluru urban district 14, Dakshina Kannada 15, and Ballari and Dharwad districts 10 each.

In the last 24-hours, as many as 161287 persons had undergone the COVID-19 test and the positivity rate for the day stood at 2.46 percent and the case fatality rate accounted for 3.46 per cent.

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News Network
June 18,2021

Bengaluru, June 18: A decision on further relaxing lockdown restrictions in the state after June 21 when the current curbs come to an end, will be taken on Saturday, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said.

"The situation is improving. There is also a possibility of a third wave in the future, but despite that we will have to give some relaxations. We will discuss it at a meeting tomorrow evening, and take a decision," Yediyurappa told reporters on Friday. 

According to official sources, the government may announce relaxations in 11 districts where lockdown measures have continued, while further relaxations in terms of movement of people and opening of businesses may be announced in the remaining 19 districts from June 21.

The government had last week issued fresh guidelines extending the Covid-19-induced lockdown in 11 districts, which have a high positivity rate, till June 21, where citizens were allowed to buy essentials between 6 am and 10 am.

Some relaxations were announced in the remaining 19 districts from June 14, allowing essential shops to be open from 6 am to 2 pm, and the movement of people till 7 pm.

It had also imposed a Covid-19 curfew (daily) from 7 pm to 5 am and a weekend curfew from 7 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday.

The 11 districts where strict lockdown measures have continued are Chikmagalur, Shivamogga, Davangere, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru Rural, Mandya, Belagavi and Kodagu.

The Karnataka government had initially announced 14 days 'close-down' from April 27 but subsequently imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to May 24, as the Covid-19 cases continued to spike. Citing lockdown yielding results and experts' advice, it was further extended till June 7 and then again till June 14.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister along with a few ministers today held discussions with officials on precautionary measures to be taken in case of the flood situation, due to monsoon rains in the state.

Yediyurappa said Maharashtra's irrigation minister will be visiting the state on Saturday and will hold discussions with him.

The release of excess water from dams in Maharashtra during heavy rains there usually causes a flood-like situation in the bordering districts of the state.

Yediyurappa said he will also hold a meeting via video conference on Saturday with Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts regarding monsoon preparedness and preventive measures to be taken in case of floods there.

Noting that the state is receiving good rains and farmers are involved in sowing activities, he said measures have been taken to ensure the availability of seeds and fertilisers without any shortage.

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