Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested Suresh Chavhanke, the editor of pro-Hindutva news channel Sudarshan TV, from Lucknow airport on charges of inciting communal sentiments, The Times of India reported.
According to the report, Chavhanke was arrested before he could lead a mob against a particular community in communally-sensitive Sambhal district, where the district administration was attacked by locals on 29 March.
Ravi Shankar Chabbi, a 2007 batch IPS officer, was quoted by the publication as saying that Chavhanke had been airing content that was vitiating the communal harmony in the district.
The Hindu reported that Chavhanke has been booked under Sections 153 A(1), 295A and 505(1)B of the Indian Penal Code.
The report also added that the editor was also booked under section 16 of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1955.
The police said that it was forced to take action agaisnt Chavhanke after prominant members of different communities complained against the communally-charged content in his show Bindaas Bol.
The report noted that Chavhanke is well known for his vocal support to the Hindutva movement, who has often termed other media houses as "jehadi media".
When contacted for the channel's response, the channel had said that it condemned any attempt to suppress and intimidate the media.
"We condemn any act to suppress and the intimidate the media. To protest this I will reach Sambhal on 13 April," a statement issued by Chavhanke said.
The Government had assured Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that it would take action against a TV channel in Uttar Pradesh. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said, "We cannot allow anyone to disturb peace and communal harmony."
"Media's independence is one thing but it cannot be so free that it spreads communal disharmony in various parts of the country. We have taken note of it and will take action," Naqvi had said.
Chavhanke was in news last November, when a former employee of the news channel accused him along with Narain Sai, the son of godman Asaram Bapu of raping her.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Apr 13, 2017 08:16 am | Updated Date: Apr 13, 2017 01:53 pm