The Committee to Protect Journalists has issued a statement demanding the release of G Raghu, a journalist, who was arrested on June 3 by the Telangana Police. The American based non-profit also said that any criminal investigation into his work should also be dropped.
Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, in Washington, D.C said, “Police in the Indian state of Telangana need to be reminded that covering civil clashes is not a crime, but a normal part of reporting,” He added that the police should apologise immediately for the crude manner of the arrest.
Raghu, who works with the news website Tolivelugu, was grabbed and shoved into an unmarked car with its license plates covered on June 3 by men in plain clothes. According to a by the News Minute, he had stepped out to buy groceries and while initial reports suggested that Raghu had been kidnapped, the police later issued a statement that he had been arrested.
The Mattampally police in Suryapet district said that they had picked up Raghu for an old case where he had been booked under penal sections related to rioting, unlawful assembly, causing hurt to deter a public servant from duty, and others. His arrest was condemned by Opposition party members in Telangana.
Raghu was also reportedly critical of the governing Telangana Rashtra Samiti in the state.