The office of TV5, a private Telugu TV news channel, was attacked in Hyderabad’s posh Jubilee Hills area on Friday night by unidentified miscreants. The attackers damaged some vehicles, pelted stones at the office and damaged the security guard’s portacabin before fleeing the scene.
TV5 had extensively reported on the problems of farmers from Amaravathi region and thereby had taken an anti-Andhra Pradesh government stand. Similarly, the channel had also been critical of the YSRCP government in its measures against Covid-19. Reports were also doing the rounds that the channel’s executive editor Murthy was about to be arrested by Andhra Police.
The attack on the channel happened when such rumours were spreading wildly. Over the last few days, TV5 is going through a rough time. The cadre of a particular party have launched a no-holds-barred attack on its anchors. All political parties, including the BJP, have condemned the incident. “Andhra Pradesh Chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had himself openly threatened TV5 and other media houses on the day of oath-taking from the stage itself.
Now, YSRCP activists have attacked TV5 office in Hyderabad. TV5 has highlighted the capital shifting and farmers’ problems in Amaravathi that the YSRCP cannot digest. The YSRCP issued government order 2430 to gag media. The government of Andhra Pradesh stopped TV5 from telecasting via but after intervention of TRAI and Press Council of India, the channel was restored.
It’s an attack on the freedom of press and the fourth pillar of democracy, it happened after repeated statements of Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy. The Andhra police tried to arrest TV5 executive editor Murthy. No chief minister in history has targeted the media like this,” said TDP national spokesman Pattabhi Ram to The Daily Guardian. TV5 Executive Editor B. Vijaya Kumar said, “Some people came around 10pm and pelted stones at the security cabin. It’s an attack on the freedom of the press.
The police should investigate the incident. We have highlighted many issues these days that might be the reason for this attack.” TDP supremo and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu tweeted, “I strongly condemn the cowardly attack on TV5 by miscreants last night. The attack is clearly aimed at undermining the role of media in the discharge of its duties as the Fourth Estate. Request the investigating authorities to bring the culprits to book as soon as possible.” As is clear, Naidu didn’t refer to the ruling YSRCP.
The BJP too condemned it in best possible terms. BJP leader Lanka Dinakar said, “Recently, TV5 Telugu News has exposed various ills and illegitimate issues pertaining to the YSRCP-led Jagan Mohan Reddy government and questioned the governance in Andhra Pradesh. This led to an unofficial ban against TV5 Telugu News and ABN Andhra Jyothi in Andhra Pradesh by armtwisting cable operators across the state. There are a series of failures of the state government.
I strongly condemn the attack against TV5 Telugu News channel by vandalizing its property in Hyderabad.” Even Jana Sena Party chief and mass hero Pawan Kalyan condemned the accident. When The Daily Guardian contacted YSRCP leaders, they said the party had no role in attack. YSRCP leaders like Dr Kammela Sridhar asked the police to investigate the matter thoroughly and bring the culprits to book. The news channel was also defiant and said these attacks will not dampen the spirit of journalism and they will continue to be fearless and wanted the culprits punished.