News Channel Claims Harrassment, Intimidation After Arrest Of Reporter, Days After Kejriwal Bungalow 'Sheesh Mahal Exposé'

Swarajya News Staff

May 09, 2023, 05:38 PM | Updated 05:38 PM IST

Indian media, image for representation only
Indian media, image for representation only

The arrest of a journalist by Punjab Police after a road accident during an assignment is part of "brazen harassment and intimidation tactics," according to the news organisation to which she belongs.

The arrest was made on charges of "rash driving and insulting Dalits."

The reporter was granted bail on 6 May by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, according to Live Law.

The Editors Guild of India said Bhawana Kishore from Times Now was taken by a male police officer in a car after her accident, breaking established procedures that require the presence of lady personnel.

Although a lady cannot be arrested after sunset, Kishore was arrested at 8:55 pm and then kept at the police station through the night until the following afternoon.

She and her crew was also denied any legal or telephone access after the arrest, as per Times Now.

According to the Editors Guild, the filing of a first information report (FIR) against the reporter by a police station in Ludhiana appeared to be "excessive and with undue haste."

The Guild stated that as the reporter was on assignment, authorities should have shown restraint in detaining and filing an FIR.

The arrest of the reporter, cameraperson, and driver has been condemned by several press groups.

Standing with their journalist, Times Network group editor Navika Kumar said, "We will not be scared, we will not be silenced."

For context, Times Now Navbharat had earlier reported on ‘Operation Sheesh Mahal', which uncovered the disproportionate, nearly Rs 45 crore spend from taxpayer money in renovating the official residence of the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, in Civil Lines.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in power in Punjab, where the Times Now journalist was arrested while on her way from Delhi to Ludhiana to cover an AAP political programme hosted by Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwat Mann.

"Times Now Navbharat has been subjected to brazen harassment and intimidation tactics ever since the newsbreak of ‘Operation Sheesh Mahal'," said the news organisation.

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