Sudarshan News Channel Head Arrested for Communally-Sensitive Show

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Suresh Chavhanke, head of Sudarshan news channel, was nabbed by police on Wednesday evening from Amausi airport for allegedly stroking communal passion in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district, reported Times of India.

The Western UP district has remained volatile for the past fortnight after hundreds of people attacked administrative officials and held some hostage on 29 March. The district has been trying to get back to normalcy since.

On 5 April, a police superintendent and additional police superintendent were shunted after failing to bring the situation under control and 2007 batch IPS officer Ravi Shankar Chabbi was posted there.

According to Chabbi, the chairman and editor-in-chief Chavanke had been airing communally-sensitive content, vitiating the atmosphere in Sambhal. Hussain Babar, who identifies as the head of Sambhal Jama Masjid, has also been booked for he can be seen using foul language against Chavanke in the videos that went viral, shared by lakhs over social media platforms.

Episodes with the title Sambhal ko Kashmir banane ki saazish, Sambhal ka Raavan Raj, Hari Mandir ka sach Jama Masjid ka jhooth among others got Suresh and his team booked under IPC Sections 153A(1), 505(1)B and 295A, which amount to promote hatred on religious grounds, committing offence against state and deliberately outraging religious feelings of a certain group.

The FIR was registered on Monday and warrant against Chavhanke was secured later.

Sections under Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act have also been pressed. In November 2016, Chanvanke had a rape case lodged against him by a former employee at a police station in Noida.

Daljeet Singh Chawdhary, ADS law and order said that Chavanke has been escorted to Sambhal and will be produced before a court there on Thursday.

We have enough evidence against him.

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