Journalist Reports on 'Damaged Wheat', Charged With Defamation

Hisar-based TV journalist Anoop Kundu was booked for trespassing and defamation nearly two months after he reported that the food grain at a government godown was damaged due to negligence.

Hisar (Haryana): The police here have booked a journalist for defamation and trespassing, nearly two months after he reported that the food grain at a government godown in Uklana town was damaged due to alleged negligence. Hisar-based Anoop Kundu, who works with a TV news channel, was booked on September 8 on the basis of a complaint lodged by a civil supplies department official.

Assistant food and supplies officer Sandeep Chahal claimed that the channel broadcast a fake video to defame the department and its officials.

But Kundu asserted that the footage was genuine, saying that the district food supplies controller was shown the damaged wheat when he visited the godown the same day.

“I had also done a walk-through showing the wet and damaged wheat at the Uklana wheat storage facility and the department officials are very much seen in the video,” he has told the media.

The department said it learnt about the video on July 18 and its inspection showed that the wheat stored at the godown was undamaged, according to the FIR.

The FIR was lodged under IPC sections related to trespassing, forgery and defamation.

The FIR claimed that when officials reached the location after the report was broadcast, they found the wheat under covers and undamaged.

It said the nagar parishad executive officer also found that the wheat properly covered.

The journalist, however, claimed he is being targeted by officials trying to protect themselves from departmental action.

He said by the time the investigating team arrived in the evening, the officials had got the damaged wheat sacks replaced with dry ones.

He said a civil supplies department inspector had threatened him of dire consequences if he tried to enter the premises without their permission.

Meanwhile, journalists here held a meeting and demanded the withdrawal of the false case against Kundu.