The Mumbai Police have arrested a reporter working for ABP Majha TV channel for his alleged role in spreading rumours that led to Tuesday’s chaotic scenes by stranded migrant workers outside the Bandra station. The reporter, identified as Rahul Kulkarni, works for the Marathi news channel belonging to the ABP Network.
News agency PTI reported that Kulkarni was detained in his home district of Osmanabad in Maharashtra and cops were in the process of taking him to Mumbai. He’s been booked under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and 269, 270 (negligent, malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 117 (abetting commission of offence by public).
Kulkarni’s arrest came after demands grew louder for action against ABP Majha for allegedly spreading rumours that a special train will start to carry the stranded migrant workers back to their homes.
Kulkarni had appeared on his channel to claim that Jan Sadharan special trains would resume for people stranded due to the lockdown. NCP leader and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik had shared the video clip of ABP Majha’s controversial broadcast and linked it to the chaotic scenes at the Bandra station on Tuesday.
— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) April 14, 2020
Kulkarni in his report had referred to a circular issued by the Indian Railways on receiving proposals to start a special train service to transport stranded migrant workers back to their homes. But the circular (see below) had only sought proposals from Divisional Commercial Managers and not taken any firm decision.
Over 1,000 people had gathered outside the Bandra station on Tuesday in violation of the lockdown as they demanded transport for returning back to their homes. The Mumbai Police have already arrested one Vinay Dubey for posting tweets that also allegedly contributed to fuelling the rumour mill.