The Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested two more journalists for organising a TV debate on a sensational claim by a woman that she had been in a relationship with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The arrest of Eshika Singh and Anuj Shukla of a little-known TV channel by the Noida Police comes just a day after cops arrested a freelance journalist, Prashant Kanojia for posting a quirky tweet on the woman’s claims.
A statement by the Noida Police said that they had arrested Eshika Singh and Anuj Shukla for broadcasting a debate on ‘defamatory claims’ made by the woman about Yogi Adityanath. While Singh worked in the TV channel Nation Live as its head, Shukla was its editor.
— NOIDA POLICE (@noidapolice) June 8, 2019
The Noida Police said that the channel in question had broadcast a panel discussion about the woman’s claims on 6 June adding that no attempts were made by journalists to verify the woman’s claims. “That panel discussion caused anger amongst workers of a particular party and there was a possibility of an adverse impact on law and order.”
The statement by the Noida Police also said that the channel was operating illegally without a licence. The news channel has now been booked for fraud under various sections of the IPC 419/420/467/468/471.
On Saturday, the Uttar Pradesh Police had picked up Kanojia from his residence in Delhi. Kanojia had commented on a video of a woman, who claimed to have been in a relationship with Adityanath for over a year. While sharing the video, Kanojia had written, “Ishq chupta nahi chupaane se yogi ji (Love can’t be kept in secret however much you try Yogi ji).” The video of the woman making astonishing claims was widely shared on social media.
The Editors Guild of India have condemned the arrests of three journalists calling it a ‘brazen misuse of law.’