Followers of Habib Mustafa Idrus Baba denounce ‘biased’ coverage of DGP’s meeting with him

A criminal case was registered against Zee 24 Gantalu, a Telugu TV news channel, on Friday following charges that it morphed the visuals which were aired with a news report on a meeting between DGP V Dinesh Reddy with godman Habib Mustafa Idrus Baba.

A case under Section 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) of the Indian Penal Code and under the sections of Information Technology Act was filed.

Earlier, tension prevailed at the office of the vernacular news channel when followers of the godman tried to storm the premises for telecasting a news story highlighting the DGP’s meeting with the former on Thursday.

Holding placards, irate protestors squatted in front of the channel office and raised slogans denouncing the ‘partisan’ attitude of the management. They tried to enter the office through the main gate, but the police foiled their attempt. They criticised the management and charged that it had aired news by “twisting the facts” and this has hurt the sentiments of followers.

Senior police officials intervened after a while and met the television management along with a few followers of Baba. After much discussion, the management had issued an apology. Prior to this episode, there were rumours that the police teams had entered the Zee channel’s office to make a few arrests in relation to the news item about the DGP’s visit.

Journalists from different TV news channels and newspapers rushed to the office and began to protest against the alleged “high-handed” behaviour of the police. They staged a ‘dharna’ on the Khairatabad main road bringing the busy hour traffic to a grinding halt for a few minutes.

The policemen immediately swung into action and dispersed the journalists. A police picket was also posted at the office to prevent any untoward incident. Later, it was informed that the city police officials had come to the TV channel office to collect evidence pertaining to the case registered for telecasting the DGP’s visit story.

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