Congress leader, news editor held over communal tension in Uttar Pradesh town
A Congress leader and the editor-owner of a Hindi news channel were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly spreading communal hatred in the western UP town, police said.
Police said Congress leader Israt Hussain Babar was arrested in Shambal for allegedly threatening the owner of Sudarshan channel, Suresh Chavhanke, and his supporters.
Chavhanke was arrested in Lucknow for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity between religious groups through a progamme aired between April 6 and 8.
An FIR was lodged against Sudarshan’s channel under various sections of IPC including those dealing with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth and over content to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public and other sections, Sambhal police station SHO, Brijmohan Giri said.
Provisions related to deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings have also been invoked, he said.
It was alleged that the channel had telecast a programme in which Chavhanke dished out objectionable content because of which tension prevailed in the city. The FIR was registered by the SHO when the matter was raised during a meeting of the peace committee on April 9, in which prominent citizens pointed out the programme telecast between April 6 to April 8.
When contacted for its response, the channel said that it condemned any attempt to suppress and intimidate the media.
“We condemn any act to suppress and the intimidate the media. To protest this I will reach Sambhal on April 13,” a statement issued by Chavhanke said.
He had also vowed to puja at a temple, which he claimed, was situated inside the Jama Masjid in the town. It led to communal tension in the area and additional forces were deployed to maintain peace in the town.
Meanwhile, heavy security has been deployed in the town to ensure law and order.