Jagitial: The police booked cases against nine journalists from various newspaper organisations and TV channels for spreading rumours and false information, obstructing officials from discharging their duties and criminal trespass.
The journalists, on Monday night, shot videos and photos of EVMs being shifted from Jagitial (Urban) Tahsildhar office to the Mini Stadium in an auto-rickshaw. The video went viral on social media, creating confusion.
State Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar, after conducting an inquiry, clarified that the EVMs were M-2 machines that were used for mock polling. They were to be shifted from Jagitial to Hyderabad. Collector Dr A Sharath inquired into the incident and informed the CEO about the actual position.
Following the incident, the Tahsildhar of Jagitial (Urban) lodged a police complaint leading to the action by the police on Tuesday. The police registered cases against the nine journalists under Sections 447, 186 and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code.
The cases were booked against Dugyala Gopikrishna (Velugu), Sridhat (Andhra Jyothi), Chintha Naresh (Sakshi TV), Raji Reddy (TV5), Sama Mahesh (local news channel), Gaddam Harikrishna (CVR News), Hyder Ali (Mojo TV), Ravinder (Andhra Jyothi, Bheerpur) and Akkinapalli Venu (Andhra Prabha, Bheerpur).
Meanwhile, journalist unions and other organisations sought to find fault with the district administration for registering criminal cases against the scribes. While Telangana Working Journalist Front met Kumar, Telangana Union of Working Journalists requested the CEO to withdraw the cases against the journalists.
Loksatta Udyama Samastha also wrote to the CEO requesting him to instruct the Jagitial Collector to withdraw the cases in the interest of freedom of press.