Port Blair, July 30: The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has joined the Andaman & Nicobar Media Federation in decrying the decision of the UT administration for non including journalists and other essential media staff in the exemption list during weekend lockdown in Andaman & Nicobar Island.
The UT administration on Tuesday decided to impose complete lockdown across the Islands on weekends to stop the corona virus spread. The decision has come amid a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Accordingly, complete lockdown will be imposed on weekends i.e. Saturdays and Sundays till the situation improves in the islands. The order announcing the lockdown across the Islands on weekends has listed certain essential services such as water, electricity, sanitation, hospital veterinary hospitals, medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units both in public and private sector such as dispensary, chemists, pharmacies, medical equipments shops, laboratories, nursing homes, ambulances, police fire and emergency services, Disaster Management, Prison Management, the transportation services involved in logistic of essential services etc. However the administration has not included media in the exempted list making it difficult to bring out media products.IJU reminds the local administration that the central government in clear term said that print, electronic and online media must be allowed to function . IJU President and former member of Press Council of India Geetartha Pathak and Secretary General of IJU Sabina Inderjit, who is also the Vice President of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said in a statement that the Prime Minister recognised that the role of journalists is crucial in fighting the pandemic. IJU demands immediate inclusion of mediapersons and other media staffs in the exemption list during lockdown and extending of all facilities to media during lockdown, curfew and other restrictive measures during the pandemic.