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Journalists covering PM event in Himachal tomorrow will need to provide character certificates

For access and security passes to cover Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s daylong visit to Himachal Pradesh tomorrow, all journalists must present a character certificate. Following the cancellation of his final rally in the state, scheduled for September 24 in Mandi due to poor weather, all eyes will be on the prime minister’s visit tomorrow.


The decree from the district administration has caused a significant controversy. Even journalists from the state-run media, including as All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan, have been asked to provide certificates of ‘character verification,’ in addition to those working for privately owned print, digital, and news television media. Police also formally informed the public about the situation on September 29, 2022.


A list of all press writers, photographers, videographers, and teams from Doordarshan and AIR, as well as ‘a certificate of their character verification,’ were asked in the notification from the District Public Relations Officer (DPRO). ‘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 said.


AAP Spokesperson Pankaj Pandit responded to the police notification by telling India Today TV that this is the first time in his 22-year journalism career that he has seen such a bizarre demand. ‘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,’ Pandit said.


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