Police in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday reportedly arrested editor-in-chief of the right-wing TV channel, Sudarshan TV, Suresh Chavhanke, for allegedly fanning communal tension.
Chavhanke, for his part, tweeted saying that he had been detained for security reasons as he planned to travel to Sambhal on Thursday.
Local correspondents in Lucknow said that Chavhanke was arrested by Sadar Bazar Police Station in coordination with Lucknow Police. However, the cops have not yet officially confirmed the arrest.
An FIR was registered against Chavhanke for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion.
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 of any class by insulting its religion and Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2000, have also been invoked, he said.
It was alleged that the channel had telecast a programme in which its Editor-in-Chief and CMD Suresh 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.
On Wednesday, the Centre’s Modi government promised action against the editor for stoking communal tension in the state.
Media cannot be so free and independent that it spreads communal disharmony, the government said in the Rajya Sabha while assuring that it would take action against a TV channel in Uttar Pradesh.
Chavhanke is not new to controversy. In November last year, a former female employee of the RSS leaning Sudarshan News Network had alleged that Chavhanke raped and molested her besides indulging in criminal intimidation.