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Journalists on cop radar

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 24, 2007

Getting helping hand from unexpected quarter

Hazaribagh, May 23: Believe it or not, some journalists are backing Maoists in the state. At least the police believe so. Arrest of Jahoor Ansari, a Naxalite, has turned the suspicion of the force into belief.

Ansari disclosed to the police the name of a journalist, who used to help him in several ways — right from collecting levy to providing information related to movement of the police. The men in uniform are now conducting raids to arrest the accused journalist, who according to the sources in the force, was a close associate of Ansari since long.

Ansari admitted that he was always helped by the journalist at the hour of need. Interestingly, the arrested rebel claimed that he was even accompanied by the journalist to collect the levy recovered from his possession.

This is not the first instance of police officials coming across the name of a journalist working as “informer” of Maoists. When a zonal commander of the Maoist outfit, Tilakji, was nabbed two months ago, he claimed a prominent journalist of the town used to inform him about the plans of the police in lieu of money. But the police did not take any action against that journalist, as he had strong connections with bigwigs of politics as well as the police force.

Hazaribagh superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh claimed that journalists of Naxalite dominated areas were providing information to Maoists. Investigations in this regard revealed that journalists initially try to befriend Maoists to get breaking news. But soon the scribes turn informers of Maoists for a premium. They provide extremists with the strategy of the police against monthly payment, he said. Such journalists maintain good relationship with lower-rung officers of the police and get information related to combing operations.

Sources in the police department said leak of information related to combing operations surprised them on several occasions. “Now it appears that some of the journalists were behind this. The practice will definitely bring disrepute to media,” a police official said.

Police officials admitted that it was not the first time when a rebel accused a journalist of passing on information to them. The police have decided to take stern action against the journalists hand-in-glove with rebels. They said efforts were on to nab the Keredari-based reporter, who helped Ansari to give police the slip on several occasions.

The Telegraph


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