Kasturi Newz 24 reporter Naveen Soorinje, who was granted bail by the Karnataka High Court in a case of attack on youth at a ‘homestay’, on Saturday walked as a free man from the Mangalore district prison.
After garlanding him, inmates of the jail block where he was lodged since November 7, 2012, shouted slogans in his support. He was brought outside the main gate by his advocate Satish Bantwal and Democratic Youth Federation of India district secretary Muneer Katipalla. “I am happy over the release,” Mr. Soorinje said even as he was congratulated by his well-wishers.
Mr. Soorinje, whose coverage of the attack on men and women celebrating a birthday party brought the issue to limelight, was arrested after the Mangalore police filed a charge sheet against him and 43 others in the case. He was named an accused in the attack on young men and women attending a birthday party at a home stay on July 28, 2012.
Mr. Soorinje and Sharan, a cameraman with the Sahaya channel, were accused of indecent portrayal of women and abetting offences such as outraging the modesty of women and dacoity allegedly committed by the attacking group.
Earlier, his bail pleas were rejected by the District Sessions Court and the High Court. However, on March 18, the High Court granted bail considering a statement by Vijay Kumar, the complainant in the ‘homestay’ attack case, that Mr. Soorinje had come to the spot after the attackers entered the premises and made efforts to stop the mob from hitting and molesting those in the party.
An application was moved on Saturday morning in the Second Additional District and Sessions court for his release. Judge Uma M.G. passed the orders after going through property documents produced by his brother-in-law Jagannat Shetty, who acted as a surety.
Among those who had come to wish Mr. Soorinje was Mr. Vijay Kumar. “I have come on leave for a week from Bangalore just to see that Mr. Soorinje is released. I am happy.”