Haryana journalist slapped with FIR for report on rotting grain

first_imgThe Haryana police have booked a journalist based in Hisar for trespassing and defamation after he reported about stacks of foodgrain allegedly rotting at a warehouse of the State Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department.The FIR was registered against Anoop Kundu, a journalist with the STV Haryana News — a television news channel — on September 8 at Uklana in Hisar. The FIR has been filed under the Sections 451, 465 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, based on the complaint of Sandeep Chahal, Assistant Food and Supplies Officer, Hisar.The complaint states that the department officials came to know about the news being aired on July 18, and claimed that the footage shown was fake and not of the Uklana warehouse, aired with an intent to discredit and defame the department. The complaint also stated that the same day a team of officials went to inspect the warehouse and found that the grains were adequately covered with polythene and no stacks damaged due to rain water.Stands by storyMr. Kundu, however, stands by his story. He said that on July 17, after receiving a tip-off, he went to the Uklana warehouse. “I spoke to the security guard and sought his permission and then made the video, which showed the wet and spoilt wheat at the warehouse. The footage is not fake,” he claimed.“On July 18, a 21-minute story was run on the channel. Following this, the concerned Minister, Karan Dev Kamboj, spoke to the channel and promised action against the officials. On the same day, the Minister even suggested an inquiry into the issue. However, later in the evening when I, along with some local BJP leaders and department officials, went to inspect the warehouse, the damaged grain bags were replaced with dry ones in a cover-up attempt. A few spoilt grain bags though were still there,” claimed Mr. Kundu.Mr. Kundu added that an official of the civil supplies department had even threatened him with dire consequences, following which he submitted a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner, Hisar, on July 25. “While nothing has been done about my complaint, a case has been registered against instead. Also, an official inquiry was conducted into the incident and the probe completed within a day. I was not even called to record my statement,” alleged Mr. Kundu.Several journalists in Hisar recently held a meeting and expressed their anguish against the registration of FIR against Mr. Kundu.last_img