Markandey Katju
Markandey KatjuReuters

After The Times of India (TOI) claimed that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) vice-chancellor Zameeruddin Shah banned its subscription to the varsity and one of its journalists was threatened by some students, Indian press council chief Markandey Katju asked AMU students not to threaten journalists.

"In my opinion, threats and intimidation to mediapersons are totally unwarranted and unacceptable in a democracy," TOI quoted Press Council of India chief Katju as saying.

Katju made the statement after receiving a phone call from the TOI journalist who alleged that some AMU students burnt her effigy, released threatening statements and asked her to leave the university premises, according to a PTI report.

On Wednesday, AMU Women's College Students' Union (AMUWCSU) and AMU Students' Union (AMUSU) had led out a protest against the alleged biased media reports on Women's College students' demand for access to library and VC's rejection on the same.

Ban on the TOI

The TOI considers VC's ban on the newspaper's subscription to the University as an action taken to weaken media by preventing it from taking a stand against the wrong-goings in the society.

The poet-lyricist and Rajya Sabha member Javed Akhtar too have been quoted condemning VC's ban on the English daily and muting media's voice for speaking the truth.

"I oppose the ban on TOI in the AMU campus. And why has only TOI been banned? No liberal and progressive person will appreciate it. The varsity administration is behaving like an ostrich, which, under attack for its illiberal and ridiculous steps, is trying to hide its head under the sand. Instead of admitting their mistake and rectifying it, they are shooting the messenger," Akhtar said.

While author Sara Abubakar from Bangalore wonders why the central government and Indian President are not intervening in the issue, which stands to question the Indian Constitution.

"It's nothing less than a Taliban act. I don't understand why the state government, governor and President of India are silent on the issue. How can a university ban girls from entering the library and now ban the Times of India. Is there a Constitution?"Abubakar said.