Shahina K.K., a former reporter for Tehelka magazine, has bagged the 2010 Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding woman mediaperson.
Shahina was in the news late last year after Karnataka police charged her with intimidating witnesses in the Bangalore blasts case. This followed her report in Tehelka questioning the incarceration of Abdul Nasar Madani in the case.
The charges led to a petition:
“We are gravely concerned about the charges framed by Karnataka police against Shahina K.K., a journalist working for the Tehelka magazine, for interviewing witnesses and publishing a report on the case relating to Abdul Nasar Madani, the chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who is one of the accused in the Bangalore bomb blasts.
“After the publication of her report, ‘Why is this man still in jail?’ (Dec 4, 2010) Shahina has been facing harassment and intimidation from the Karnataka Police. A case has been registered against her at the Somawarpet Police Station (No. 199/10) and Siddhapura Police Station (No. 241/10) under Section 506 for allegedly intimidating the witnesses.
“We strongly condemn this attitude of the police in framing false charges on this reputed journalist with such high credentials in a nationally reputed magazine. We also feel that Shahina’s case is yet another example of how the State apparatus acts against its marginalized and minority communities and pushes them outside the orbit of legal justice and human rights. Madani’s acquittal without any charges/strictures after 10 long years of incarceration without bail in an earlier case proves that there has been victims of such an ideological bias.
“We also know that by registering a case for criminal intimidation against a journalist, the Karnataka Police has cut at the very root of democratic and media freedoms in our country. We strongly feel that this is not a case against her as an individual but a warning to the entire press community, women and minorities and anyone who questions the logic of a repressive State. Moreover, we are aware that if the police can go to this extent in the case of a reputed journalist, the status of ordinary members of the marginalized and minority communities remains highly threatened.”
18 top Kerala journalists also petitioned the Kerala chief minister against the charges slapped on Shahina. She has since hopped across to Open magazine as its Trivandrum correspondent.
Link via Shobha S.V.
Photograph: courtesy Counter Media
Previous Chameli Devi award winners
Rupashree Nanda: ‘Journalism: mankind’s greatest achievement’
Nirupama Subramanian: ‘India’s freedom as fragile as its neighbours”