The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday detained Zee Hindustan anchor Rohit Ranjan from his home in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram area after the news channel aired a doctored video of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on July 1, PTI reported.
In the video, Gandhi made a comment about the Students’ Federation of India for attacking his Wayanad office on June 24. Gandhi described the attackers as children and said he had no ill-will against them, the Congress said.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the clip had been doctored to make it appear as if it was a comment about the killers of a tailor in Udaipur.
Zee Hindustan subsequently withdrew the content and issued an apology for the doctored video.
However, Congress’ head for media and publicity Pawan Khera on Monday said that a first information report was filed against the channel as it was a “repeat offender”, The Wire reported. By the time it issued an apology, the “damage had already been done”, he added.
Khera said that FIRs have been registered in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi in connection with the doctored clip.
Police from two states fight
On Tuesday morning, high drama unfolded outside Ranjan’s home as police officers from Bharatiya Janata Party-led Uttar Pradesh and Congress-led Chhattisgarh fought to get Ranjan’s custody, a video showed.
The Raipur Police alleged that they were obstructed by their Uttar Pradesh counterparts while they tried to arrest Ranjan, PTI reported.
Raipur Senior Superintendent of Police Prashant Agarwal said that as the officers were completing the formality of the arrest procedure, the Uttar Pradesh Police forcefully took Ranjan away. Agarwal said that the Raipur Police had a warrant for arresting the anchor.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ranjan said in a tweet that the Chhattisgarh Police officers had arrived at his home to arrest him without informing the local police. He tagged the Uttar Pradesh Police and Chief Minister Adityanath in his post. In response, the Raipur Police said that there was no “such rule to inform” and requested him to join the investigation.
The Ghaziabad Police also responded to Ranjan, saying that the local officials had taken cognisance of the matter.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had also shared the misleading video on social media, prompting the Congress to file complaints against two saffron party MPs Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Subrat Pathak and three others in Delhi, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Ramesh on Saturday wrote to BJP President JP Nadda, asking that the leaders should apologise for sharing the video or face legal action.
Ramesh said that they were “deliberately and enthusiastically” sharing a modified report that was aired on Zee News at 9 pm on July 1.
On Monday, Congress’ social media in-charge Supriya Shrinate accused Rathore of sedition and for spreading fake news to disturb India’s communal harmony.