Himachal Order Asking For ‘Character Certificate’ Of Journalists Covering PM Visit Withdrawn After Outrage

The Himachal Pradesh administration order asking for character certificates from journalists covering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s one-day visit to Himachal Pradesh tomorrow has been withdrawn after outrage and disbelief by press.

Earlier, in the order, all journalists had been asked to produce a character certificate for access and security passes to cover Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long visit to Poll-bound Himachal Pradesh.

Not just the privately-owned print, digital, and news television journalists, but even representatives of the state-run media, including the All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan have been asked to bring certificates of “character verification”. Official notification was also issued by the police on September 29, 2022, on the issue.

The notification 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,” the notification read.

However, the Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur, put out a new notification this morning with regrets.

“It is regretted that the letter was inadvertently issued by this office. The letter stands withdrawn,” it said, adding that all media are “welcome” and their coverage will be facilitated.

The new order said that passes will be issued to all recommended by the government’s media department.

Himachal Pradesh police chief Sanjay Kundu expressed regret over the earlier order and said: “All journalists are most welcome to cover the Prime Minister’s visit to Himachal Pradesh tomorrow. Himachal Pradesh Police will facilitate their coverage. Any inconvenience is regretted.”

The order was retracted after journalists slammed the order and demanded that the order be withdrawn.

All eyes are set on the prime minister’s visit tomorrow after his last rally in the state – scheduled for September 24 in Mandi – was called off citing bad weather.


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