Raid on the Times of India journalist's house proves right Press Council of India report

Patna,(BiharTimes): In a shocking incident the Nawada police on Wednesday night raided the house of the Times of India correspondent, S B Sinha, after he did a story on the non-execution of non-bailable warrant of arrest of SHO by the police.
Ironically, the police raid came a few days after chief minister Nitish Kumar publicly condemned the Press Council of India Chairman, Justice (Retired) Markandey Katju, for the report of the Fact-Finding Team, which said that there is media censorship in Bihar.

The Times of India carried the report, ‘Judge proposes, cop disposes’, on its front page on Feb 26 (Tuesday).

The report highlighted the Nawada police’s failure to execute a non-bailable warrant of arrest against Rajauli SHO Vindhyachal Prasad for the last three months. The warrant was issued in connection with a case of alleged wrongful arrest of lawyer Mehboob Alam, who in fact is the assistant public prosecutor (APP) too.

According to Alam’s complaint case in the court of Nawada CJM, he had gone to the Muffasil police station to lodge an FIR in connection with the alleged assault on an imam of a mosque. But, the SHO arrested him. He was also allegedly assaulted and robbed. The next day, the SHO allegedly tied a rope around his waist and paraded him on the court premises, much to the indignation of the lawyers.

Taking cognizance of the case, the Chief Judicial Magistrate summoned the SHO to appear before the court. When he did not respond, the CJM, in November, issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

However, TOI report said that the Nawada superintendent of police (SP) Lalan Mohan Prasad, who was earlier a DSP in chief minister’s security, sat on the warrant and posted the SHO in Rajauli police station to helm it.

The publication of the news in the TOI turned the SP furious, who was in Patna to attend a meeting. Early on Tuesday morning he rang up a senior Patna-based journalist of the same newspaper to berate the Nawada correspondent, S B Sinha.

“I told the SP to send a contradiction if the news item published was wrong. He never sent any contradiction. Instead, he reportedly ordered arrest of Sinha. He somehow, came to know about it and filed an informatory petition with the CJM as well as civil SDO on Tuesday, apprehending his arrest in a fabricated case,” the Patna-based senior journalist told BiharTimes over phone. The SP did not stop there. He rang up another senior journalist of the same newspaper in Kolkata to say that he would lodge an FIR against the Nawada reporter.

On Wednesday, around 8:30 PM, a police team raided Sinha’s house and asked if he was still running a fertilizer shop for which his late mother was issued a licence. “I explained the details and a satisfied raiding team returned sheepishly,” said Sinha.

According to the Times of India report neither DGP Abhayanand nor ruling national spokesman of Janata Dal (United) Shivanand Tiwary took the call late on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the terrorized Imam has since fled the village. The APP, whose wait for justice has apparently failed to materialize, has now threatened to go on fast-unto-death before the court.

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