Web journalist arrested for alleged involvement in Gurrambodu ‘riot’

Scribe remanded to 14 days in judicial custody; Dasoju Sravan cites it as an attack on media

Published: 04th June 2021 09:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2021 09:19 AM   |  A+A-

Handcuffs, Arrest

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  In a dawn swoop, Suryapet district police arrested a web journalist Jangi Raghu, 35, from his residence in Malkajgiri here on Thursday, for his involvement in a clash that took place between the tribals and BJP workers on one side and the police on the other at Gurrambodu thanda in Suryapet district in February.He was produced before a court which remanded him to 14 days in judicial custody.
Raghu is an anchor at Tolivelugu, a YouTube news channel.

The clash took place when the BJP workers marched into a fenced out private property alleging that the land on which a shed stood originally belonged to the tribals and that it was encroached, as part of the party’s Girijana Bharosa Yatra. On that day, tension flared up when the police lathicharged the crowd who had a free run of the shed, while some of them tried to pull it down. 

Jangi Raghu

Wielding iron rods and other weapons they tried to pull the shed down. When the police arrived to quell rioting, those who were resorting to vandalism threw stones at them, causing bleeding injuries to some officials. The police said that the videos taken at that time revealed that a crowd of approximately 70 people descended on the private property, among whom Raghu was one. 

The journalist was arrested by the Mattampalli police and was produced before the court which remanded him.  He was booked under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 144 (possession of weapons), 147 (rioting) and 332 (causing hurt) of IPC, among others.

Politicos condemn arrest
Both the Congress and the BJP condemned the arrest of web journalist Raghu, on Thursday.  In a media statement, BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar alleged that the State government was trying to muzzle the media by registering false cases against journalists who fearlessly expose the wrongs of the TRS government. 

“KCR is trying to send a clear message to everyone that adverse news about those who are at the helm would be dealt by registering cases. If all those who are writing truths are being booked, all jails will be filled with reporters. Is KCR ready for that,” he asked. 

AICC spokesperson Dasoju Sravan assreted that the TRS government is solely responsible for Raghu’s safety and immediate steps should be taken to prevent any untoward development in this regard. “Considering this an attack on media and its freedom of expression, Press Council chairman Allam Narayana should pressurise the government,” he added.


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