MP: Case against 3 journos for misleading news report
Bhind, Aug 22: Bhind police in Madhya Pradesh have registered a case of forgery against three journalists over a news report highlighting poor health amenities by showing a family taking an elderly man to hospital on a handcart in the absence of an ambulance.
Following a complaint filed by the health department's Medical Officer Rajiv Kaurav, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered on August 18 against journalists Kunjbihari Kaurav, Anil Sharma and NK Bhatele, Daboh police station's head constable Kamlesh Kumar said on Monday. They have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 420 (forgery) and 505 (public mischief) and relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act, he said.
As per the FIR, the complainant said these journalists published and aired a news on August 15 that the family of Gaya Prasad (76) had to take him on a handcart as an ambulance was not made available to them and the victim did not receive the benefits of government schemes. After publication and broadcast of the news, the district administration constituted a committee of revenue and health officials for an inquiry into the news report, the FIR said.
The committee found the news report to be false as Gaya Prasad's son Puran Singh said they did not call for the ambulance and his father and family have been getting the benefits of government schemes, like old age pension, according to the FIR. Besides, the family had taken Gaya Prasad to a private hospital and not to a government hospital, the FIR said. Anil Sharma, who works for a news channel, alleged that the district administration pressured Gaya Prasad's family members by threatening them to stop the government scheme benefits being given to them.
The FIR was filed on the false ground, he claimed. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the MP Assembly Dr Govind Singh also alleged that the district administration pressured Gaya Prasad's family to make false statements against the journalists. This is an act of suppressing the media's voice and the Congress will fight to ensure justice for these journalists, he said.
The ruling BJP's state working committee member Ramesh Dubey also condemned the act of registration of the FIR against the journalists and demanded action against the erring officials. Bhind district Collector Sathish Kumar S could not be contacted for reaction in the matter.