‘Speculative and unverified reports appearing on terror probe’

City Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji on Monday expressed concern over the publishing and telecast of speculative and unverified reports in a section of the media on the investigation against terror suspects.

At a meeting with print and electronic media journalists in Bangalore, Mr. Mirji advised the media to exercise restraint while reporting terror-related cases as the matter concerned not only “national security”, but was also “communally sensitive”.

“I request the media to be more responsible and co-operate with the police so that the law and order is not disturbed,” Mr. Mirji said. He described as “unfounded and speculative” a news report that said the Central Crime Branch (CCB) had arrested a person in Chickmagalur and was tracking three others who were planning to blow up the Sringeri Sharada Peetham.

Similiarly, he described as “untrue” another report that said the police had picked up a terror suspect from Bijapur.

Inputs

Expressing dismay over the publishing and telecasting of “unverified” reports, Mr. Mirji cautioned reporters against basing their stories on inputs from lower-level officials in the Police Department.

“The lower-level staff in the department may be responsible or irresponsible. They are not aware of the facts,” he said.

Regular press meets

Mr. Mirji said he and Deputy Commissioners of Police who were part of the investigations had been holding regular press conferences and sharing facts. Yet, false reports continued to appear in a section of the press, he said, and cautioned reporters against trusting “sources”, who were not part of the investigations.

Mr. Mirji’s reacted angrily when his attention was drawn to a news item that claimed more journalists were likely to be arrested.

He said such reports were “unfounded” and offered to sack police officials providing “false” information to the media.

He urged reporters to disclose the identity of the “sources” in the police so that they can be “sacked” for providing wrong information.

Journalists’ demand

Meanwhile, the media representatives urged the police to clarify false news regularly so that the misinformation could be checked.

Joint Commissioner of Police B. Dayanand said the department would start giving updates on its blog so that the facts of the case were available to the people. Additional Commissioner of Police T. Sunil Kumar was present.

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