Hyderabad newspaper editor arrested in caste-related dispute

    MONTREAL, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders condemns the
arrest of K. Srinivas, the editor of the Telugu-language daily Andhra Jyothi,
and two of his journalists, K. Vamsi and N. Srinivas, on the night of 24 June
in the southeastern city of Hyderabad.
    The police showed no warrant but said they had evidence of a violation of
the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,
which punishes physical violence and insults against Dalits (social groups
regarded as "untouchable" in the Hindu caste system).
    The arrests are linked to an article accusing certain caste organisations
of corruption that led to the newspaper's headquarters being attacked
(http://www.rsf.org/fil_en.php3?id_rubrique=682&mois=05) on 26 May by members
of the Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS), an organisation that defends
Dalits. In the course of the violence, several employees came close to being
set on fire after been splashed with petrol.
    The newspaper's staff, accompanied by several journalists organisations,
staged a demonstration the next day to demand the punishment of those
responsible for the violence. The police said demonstrators burned posters of
MRPS president Manda Krishna Madiga during the protest.
    After being the target of a violent attack, the newspaper is now the
victim of abusive judicial proceedings, Reporters Without Borders said, adding
that the federal government should intercede to obtain the journalists'

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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