Police on Tuesday afternoon registered a case against S. Nagesh Kumar, Resident Editor (AP) of The Hindu here, under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, in connection with a report published in the newspaper on September 13.
The case was booked following a complaint lodged by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Madhapur) Ram Narasimha Reddy who is also President of the A.P. Police Gazetted Officers’ Association. He stated in his complaint that the report in the front page of The Hindu was false and published without any basis and verification of facts.
He alleged that the publication was mala fide to harm the reputation of the office of DGP in particular and entire police force in general “to cause alarm and fear among the public and with an ulterior motive to demoralise the police force…”
The news item narrated how Director-General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy had created a flutter on Thursday last by meeting a godman Habib Mustafa Idrus Baba at Fateh Darwaza in the Old City, in a convoy of vehicles. Police had regulated traffic in the busy stretch of road throughout the 40-minute duration of the police chief’s visit.
The same day, television channels also aired the story about the visit of Mr. Reddy. The very next day, a case was lodged against Zee 24 and a day later, two employees of the channel were arrested. The Hindu reported this event too and ever since police threw hints of proceeding against this newspaper, claiming that the report was “defamatory and affected the morale of the police force.”
The FIR registered against Mr. Nagesh Kumar sought to justify the DGP’s visit to the godman by stating that in order to protect the interests of public and for maintenance of law and order, peace and harmony among different religious groups in the present scenario of Ganesh Chaturthi and nimajjanam, such visits of police officers “can no way be questioned.”