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New Delhi: A journalist with the Dainik Bhaskar in Ambala, Haryana was arrested on Sunday for reportedly mistaking the exact location where a suspected terror attack took place. Another journalist – a news editor – too was named in the FIR registered in the case, the Indian Express reported.
The FIR against the reporter, Sunil Brar, and news editor, Sandeep Sharma, has been filed under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 177 (furnishing false information), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code.
The case is related to a report published by the Dainik Bhaskar on Thursday, about a man arrested by the Punjab Police the previous day. According to the Indian Express, while the suspect was apprehended from Mardon Sahib village, the Dainik Bhaskar headline indicated that he had been arrested from the cantonment area in Ambala, near the IOC depot. According to Google Maps, the two locations are less than 20 km away from each other. On Friday, the newspaper issued a correction, stating the correct spot of the arrest.
SHO of the Amabala Cantt police station, Inspector Vijay Kumar, confirmed Brar’s arrest to the Indian Express and said that he will be produced before a court on Saturday.
Several opposition leaders in Haryana hit out at the police action, saying it did not deserve an arrest or an FIR as the newspaper had made a mistake and then corrected it.
“To protect fair journalism, it is necessary that this matter should be investigated impartially and any police action should be taken only after thorough prove of the facts,” said Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief Kumari Selja.
अंबाला में दो पत्रकार साथियों पर पुलिस द्वारा मुकदमा दर्ज किया गया है और इनमें से एक पत्रकार साथी की गिरफ्तारी भी की गई है।
निष्पक्ष पत्रकारिता की रक्षा हेतु यह जरूरी है कि इस मामले की निष्पक्ष जांच की जाए और तथ्यों के पूर्ण अवलोकन के बाद ही कोई पुलिस कार्रवाई हो।
— Kumari Selja (@kumari_selja) September 17, 2021
Rohit Jain, treasurer of the HPCC, criticised the fact that the two were not served any sort of notice before the arrest.
हरियाणा पुलिस की धक्काशाही
बिना नोटिस दिए वरिष्ठ पत्रकार सुनील बराड़ को किया गिरफ्तार।
— ROHIT JAIN (@ROHITJAININC) September 17, 2021