[ReviewAZON display=”searchquery” query=”telegu” count=”4″ category=”All” page=”1″ sort=”default”]Continuing the probe against Telugu television channels which aired an unsubstantiated story about an alleged conspiracy behind the death of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the police here Saturday seized hard disks, CDs and other material from the office of the Sakshi channel.
A day after arresting two editors of TV 5, which was first to air the story, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) conducted a probe against Sakshi, owned by Rajasekhara Reddy’s son and Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
A team of CID officials spent more than two hours Sturday night at the Sakshi office gathering evidence against the channel but left without arresting anybody. The investigating team seized hard disks, CDs, a printout of the web page of a Russian tabloid and a list of employees.
The CID officials spoke to Sakshi CEO Priyadarshini Ram about the story, even as the channel scribes held placards to protest against the police action, terming it an attack on press freedom.
Like TV 5, Sakshi and another channel, NTV, have been booked by the police for airing the story based on the report of a Russian website.
The report sparked violence in the state and attacks on Reliance stores Thursday night as it alleged that the company had a role in the helicopter crash that killed YSR on Sep 2 last year.
Cases under sections 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 505 (2) (making statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 16 of the Cable TV Networks Regulation Act, 1995, were registered against all the three TV channels, police said.
Ram later told reporters that the government was trying to be tough with media for disseminating information to people. “Why has the government failed to take action when the report was there on the Russian website for the last four months?” he asked.
Journalists Saturday staged protests against the arrests of two editors of TV 5.
Police arrested dozens of mediapersons who staged a demonstration here. Indian Journalists Union Secretary Srinivas Reddy met Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and lodged a protest with him.
“We condemn the arrests of the two editors. While they are available for any probe, the police are treating them like criminals by arresting them and keeping them in custody throughout the night,” Srinivas told reporters.
The CID Friday night arrested TV 5 executive editor Brahmananda Reddy and input editor Venkat Krishna for airing the story.
Director General of Police R.R. Girish Kumar said 114 cases were registered and 289 people were arrested in connection with the attacks on Reliance outlets and properties.
He said some news channels telecast the story based on a publication in a foreign website of “doubtful veracity, without verifying its credentials or the credibility of the information”.
Meanwhile, a police officer in Anantapur town, Narsingappa, was suspended for failing to protect a Reliance outlet when a mob attacked it.
The state Congress leadership has also issued a show cause notice to National Students Union of India (NSUI) state president Vamshichand Reddy, who allegedly sent an SMS to NSUI workers to attack Reliance outlets after TV channels aired the story.
–Indo-Asian News Service