Absence of SHO at the police station cited, process put off to today

In pursuance of the anticipatory bail orders granted by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in a case related to a news item published in these columns, S. Nagesh Kumar, Resident Editor of The Hindu here, went to Panjagutta police station on Sunday along with a team of advocates and two sureties, carrying necessary documents.

However, the police personnel present in the station did not receive the fixed deposit receipts and surety bonds stating that Station House Officer N. Tirupathi Rao was on leave and had gone to Warangal.

Later, Mr. Kumar, along with the advocates and his colleagues, met Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) V. Satyanarayana and Assistant Commissioner of Police D. Venkata Narsiah. “The two police officers advised Mr. Kumar to submit the surety bonds and other necessary documents for completing the formalities on Monday,” legal counsel stated.

About 50 journalists, including Telakapalli Ravi, Kommineni Srinivasa Rao and leaders of Indian Journalists’ Union, Andhra Pradesh Working Journalists’ Federation and Andhra Pradesh Press Photographers’ Association, including K. Srinivas Reddy, D. Amar, K. Amarnath, G. Anjaneyulu, C. Keshavulu and others also met the DCP and ACP and expressed their strong resentment over the police refusal to receive the bail papers.

They also registered their protest at the senior official for not deputing another police officer in the absence of the SHO when they had come with relevant papers, two sureties and original fixed deposit receipts. They felt it could be a ploy to delay the completion of bail formalities and harass The Hindu RE.

The Panjagutta police then gave an undertaking that they had received a copy of the anticipatory bail granted to Mr. Kumar by the A. P. High Court in crime No. 808/13. They assured that no policeman from the police station would go to the residence of Mr. Kumar and suggested completion of bail formalities by coming to the police station between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. after the SHO returned.

At 5.50 p.m., the DCP telephoned a journalist in The Hindu and stated that the SHO had returned from Warangal and would receive the bail papers. Finally, the process was put off to Monday.