Haryana Journo Booked for Defamation Over Spoilt Food Grain Report
Journalist Anoop Kundu based out of Hisar, Haryana, has denied all allegations of his story being fake.
Anoop Kundu, a journalist based out of Hisar, Haryana has been booked for defamation and illegal trespassing by the Haryana police for reporting on the mishandling of food grains at the storage facility of the State Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department in Uklana.
An FIR against him was filed on 8 September at Uklana police station in Hisar district, according to Newslaundry. The complainant, Sandeep Chahal, who happens to be the Assistant Food and Supplies Officer claims that the story by the journalist carries a fake video that has been used to defame the department and its officials.
The Department’s Version
As stated in the FIR, according to the department, right after Anoop Kundu’s story was published, senior authorities reached the spot to inspect the situation.
They found that all the wheat was undamaged and covered properly. Along with that a Nagar Parishad Executive Officer, inspecting the stock of wheat, said it was in good condition.
Anoop Kundu, however, has a different story to tell.
Responding to the accusation that the video shot by him is fake, Kundu says that all the content in the video is authentic and genuine, as the name of the department can clearly be seen on the board in the video.
Along with that, he also claims that, on the day he was shooting this video, the District Food Supplies Controller had shown him wet and damaged wheat.
“I have also done a walk-through, showing the wet and damaged wheat of the Uklana wheat storage facility and the department officials are very much seen in the video.”Anoop Kundu, as quoted by Newslaundry
Regarding the investigation that was done to inspect the stock of wheat, the journalist claims that the department officials would have got the damaged wheat changed to avoid serious consequences. He also claims that he was threatened by the department officials.
Kundu also questions the authenticity of the probe that was commissioned for the inspection of the stock. He alleges that the committee completed the probe within a day, without recording his statement for official purpose.
“I want to ask the authorities if the wheat procured by government agencies is rotting in rain and the officials concerned are not doing much about it, then what is a journalist is supposed to do? I took the call to do my duty and have the video footage that proves my case. How can anyone dismiss video footage evidence, wherein all the same officials and the department names are seen?”Anoop Khandu, as quoted by Newslaundry
With many local journalists backing Anoop, a letter has been sent to the Press Council of India and the Chief Minister of Haryana has been asked to look into this issue based on the on-ground evidence.
(With Inputs from Newslaundry.)
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