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Alwar temple demolition: Rajasthan police searching for TV journalist in Noida

A bulldozer being used to demolish a 300-year-old Shiva temple at Sarai Mohalla, in Alwar district of Rajasthan on April 22, 2022.

A bulldozer being used to demolish a 300-year-old Shiva temple at Sarai Mohalla, in Alwar district of Rajasthan on April 22, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

A team of Rajasthan police was on Sunday searching for television journalist Aman Chopra in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida township to arrest him in compliance with a warrant issued by a court in Dungarpur district. Mr. Chopra is wanted in a case of sedition and hurting religious sentiments of a community.

Mr. Chopra, an editor with news channel Network-18, had anchored a TV show insinuating that the recent demolition of a temple in Alwar was carried out by the Congress government in Rajasthan as an “act of revenge” against the demolition drive at Jahangirpuri in Delhi, in which the gate of a mosque was razed.

Three first information reports (FIRs) were registered against Mr. Chopra in Dungarpur, Alwar and Bundi in connection with his contentious TV show. The Rajasthan High Court has stayed the journalist’s arrest till further orders in two FIRs of Alwar and Bundi, but he faces the arrest warrant issued by the Dungarpur court following the FIR registered on April 23.

The police team, camping in Noida, went to the Network-18 office as well as Mr. Chopra’s house for arresting him, but he was not found there. The team, searching all possible locations to trace Mr. Chopra, went to the housing society, where he resides, again on Saturday and Sunday, but the house was found locked.

Mr. Chopra has skipped anchoring his prime time show on the TV channel since the Rajasthan police started looking for him. However, he posted greetings on Akshaya Tritiya and Parshuram Jayanti on his Twitter account on May 2 and tweeted his remarks on the ongoing survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Mosque complex on Saturday.

The FIR at Dungarpur district’s Bichhiwara police station has been registered under Sections 124-A (sedition), 295-A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) of Indian Penal Code and Section 67 of Information Technology Act. The complainant, Congress party worker Krishna Raj Singhal, had alleged that the contents of Mr. Chopra’s TV show were false and fictitious.

Dungarpur Superintendent of Police Sudhir Joshi said on Sunday that the High Court’s order had not mentioned the FIR registered in Dungarpur and the stay was granted on Mr. Chopra’s arrest in the FIRs of Alwar and Bundi. The police would continue their efforts to arrest the journalist, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 27, 2022 12:49:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/alwar-temple-demolition-rajasthan-police-team-reach-noida-to-arrest-tv-journalist/article65394200.ece