The Supreme Court will hear Thursday the plea of a TV anchor seeking protection from arrest over a “doctored video” of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi while the Chhattisgarh police issued summons to the journalist after failing to trace him in the National Capital Region.
On Tuesday, Rohit Ranjan was whisked away by police from Noida in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, virtually thwarting his arrest by a team from Congress-run Chhattisgarh that had landed at his Ghaziabad home a few hours earlier. He was arrested and released on bail by them later the same day. On Wednesday, the Chhattisgarh team visited his home again, and the offices of Zee News in Noida.
“Ranjan is absconding and efforts are on to trace him,” Senior Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal told PTI in Raipur. The Chhattisgarh team pasted a notice outside Ranjan’s home in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram. He and some of his colleagues have been asked to come to Raipur on July 12 to get their statements recorded in connection with the probe, a Chhattisgarh official told PTI, requesting anonymity.
The Congress also filed a complaint with the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority against Zee News and the anchor for airing Gandhi’s comments in Kerala with a “distorted and malicious interpretation”, and sought action against them.
Ranjan has earlier apologised for “mistakenly” playing Gandhi’s statement on the vandalisation of his office in Kerala’s Wayanad out of context by linking it with the recent murder in Udaipur, where two men killed a tailor over an “insult to Islam”. Zee TV has sacked two producers, blaming them for it.
The case landed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.