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Zee News anchor detained after cops of 2 states fight over him in Rahul Gandhi video case

The Chhattisgarh Police reached anchor Rohit Ranjan’s Ghaziabad home early Tuesday morning to arrest him, but the UP police beat them to it after the journalist tweeted to local authorities.

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New Delhi: There was high drama at the home of a television anchor early Tuesday morning where the police of two states scrambled for his arrest.

The Chhattisgarh police arrived at Zee anchor Rohit Ranjan’s Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) home around 5.30 am to arrest him – following a warrant by a Raipur court – for running a misleading video on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

While the Chhattisgarh police were at his door, Ranjan tweeted to his local Uttar Pradesh (UP) authorities: “Chhattisgarh Police is standing outside my house to arrest me without informing the local police, is it legal.”

Ranjan tagged the UP police and state chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

The Raipur Police responded: “There is no such rule to inform. Still, now they are informed. Police team has shown you the court’s warrant of arrest. You should in fact cooperate, join in the investigation and put your defence in court (sic)”.

Following Ranjan’s tweet, both the Ghaziabad and Noida Police got involved and he was taken away in its custody.

Speaking to ThePrint about the incident, a senior Raipur officer said the force was following orders of the Raipur court.

He added: “However, the UP Police reached the spot and took him away to someplace we are unaware of.”

The case pertains to running a doctored video of Rahul Gandhi, in which the leader’s response to the Students’ Federation of India after they vandalised his Wayanad office was run as comments on the murderers of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal.

Ranjan had apologised for this “human error” and tweeted on 2 July: “Yesterday, in our show DNA, Rahul Gandhi’s statement was taken in the wrong context by linking it to the Udaipur incident, it was a human error for which our team is apologetic, we apologise for it.”

The next day, however, an FIR was registered against Ranjan for promoting enmity, deliberate malicious attempts to outrage religious feelings, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, and criminal conspiracy among others.

It was done on the complaint of a Congress leader in Chhattisgarh.

Raipur’s Senior Superintendent of Police Prashant Agarwal said Tuesday: “A team was constituted for the investigation of the said case and the arrest of the accused, who is in Ghaziabad.”

Following due process, the team reached Ranjan’s Ghaziabad home Tuesday morning to serve him the warrant issued by court, the officer said. He added: “The process of arrest was taking place… (when) the local police forcefully took the accused along with them and obstructed the process of arrest, despite (us) showing the warrant by the Chhattisgarh Police.”

Videos soon surfaced on news channels showing the Noida police taking Ranjan to the Sector 20 police station. Sources said this was in connection to a separate case lodged in Noida, regarding the same issue.

A senior Noida officer told ThePrint, “A team went to Ranjan’s house to question him in a case – registered on the complaint of Zee News — against producers (of the show). The news channel demanded legal action against their employees for the doctored video of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.”

“Since Ranjan is the anchor of the show, he was taken in for interrogation. The Chhattisgarh Police had also come but our team had already detained Ranjan,” he added.

An FIR has been registered in UP under IPC section 505 (statement made with intent to incite).

Also read: Rahul Gandhi lashes out at Karnataka govt over developments in Karnataka PSI recruitment scam case


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