Bilaspur District Administration in Himachal Pradesh has issued a notice asking all the journalists, who wish to cover PM Modi’s visit and rally, to produce a character certificate. The notice has been receiving backlash for being against the freedom of media. The notification was issued by police on September 29, 2022.
In a day-long visit to Himachal Pradesh on October 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate AIIMS Bilaspur, lay the foundation stone for projects worth over Rs 3,650 crore and will also participate in the famous Kullu Dussehra.
The notice is not just for the privately-owned print, digital and news television journalists but also for representatives of the state-run media, including the All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan.
The notification has asked the District Public Relations Officer (DPRO) to supply a list of all press correspondents, photographers, videographers, and teams of Doordarshan and AIR along with a certificate of their character verification.
“The certificate of character verification may be supplied to the office of Deputy Superintendent of Police, CID, Bilaspur by October 1, 2022 positively. Their access within the rally or meeting will be decided by this office,” reads the notification.
“Modi ji is not visiting the state for the first time. The demand to produce a character certificate is humiliating and an attempt to curb the media’s activities,” said AAP Spokesperson Pankaj Pandit.
Chief spokesperson of the Himachal Congress committee, Naresh Chauhan considered that the move was against the freedom of the media.