Rajasthan Police has been searching for News18 Editor Aman Chopra despite the Rajasthan High Court directing the government to not take any coercive action against the News18 journalist.
When a journalist asked Rajasthan chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot why was the police hounding Aman Chopra when the Rajasthan High Court had already provided him relief, the chief minister responded by saying the law was taking its own course in Rajasthan unlike UP, where fake encounters and bulldozers are used. “We don’t want fake encounters here,” Gehlot added.
The hounding of Aman Chopra by the Rajasthan Police started after he did a show on April 22.
In his evening programme, Chopra started the show by saying, ‘Is the attack on Mahadev to avenge Jehangirpuri’?
The show was about the demolition of three temples in Alwar, including a 300-year-old Shiva temple. First, the news had come that demolition was carried out in Alwar post the anti-encroachment drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on April 20.
On the show, Chopra had asked that it was just a coincidence that the demolition drive was started in Alwar post-anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri.
Later it was revealed that the demolition in Alwar was carried out on April 17-18.
Rajasthan police lodged three FIRs against Aman Chopra in districts Bundi, Alwar and Dungarpur. The first FIR was registered in Dungarpur on April 23, the second FIR was registered at Bundi the same day, and the third FIR was registered in Alwar on April 24. The FIRs were lodged under different stringent sections of the IPC, including sedition.
On May 7, the Rajasthan High Court directed the police to not take any coercive action against the journalist. The Rajasthan Additional Advocate General (AAG) GS Rathore said that the Rajasthan High Court provided relief to Aman Chopra against arrest in connection with FIRs at Alwar & Bundi, and the court did not stay his arrest in relation to the FIR registered in Dungarpur.
“This was the second time that our team went to arrest Chopra. Much like the previous instance, a Sub-Inspector of the UP Police took our team to a police station and made the team to wait on the pretext of details of the case. Our Additional SP had already briefed them on the case against Chopra who faces arrest warrant from a Dungarpur court,” The Indian Express quoted Dungarpur SP Sudhir Joshi.
Editors Guild of India, which describes itself as a “Premier, non-partisan association of editorial leaders in India. Committed to free, fair and independent journalism. Not a watchdog, but a conscience keeper”, has maintained its studied silence in the case.