The State Cabinet on Thursday approved the withdrawal of criminal cases registered against television journalist Naveen Soorinje, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar told presspersons.
Mr. Soorinje, Mangalore district reporter for Kasturi Newz24, was instrumental in exposing the July 28 attack by activists of the Hindu Jagaran Vedike on a group of boys and girls who were celebrating a birthday party at a ‘homestay’ in Mangalore.
He was arrested on November 7 by the Mangalore police on charges ranging from rioting with deadly weapons, criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and using criminal force on a woman with the intention of outraging her modesty. The police also invoked Sections 3 and 4 of The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
The decision of the Cabinet will be conveyed to the Public Prosecutor in Mangalore who will then move an application in the trial court for withdrawal of prosecution. However, the court will reserve the right to come to an independent decision on whether or not to permit withdrawal of the case.
Sources said that some Ministers pressed for the withdrawal of cases against members of the Hindu Jagaran Vedike as well.
Home Minister R. Ashok reportedly turned down this demand.