Azamgarh: Azamgarh district magistrate on Monday ordered a probe into the arrest of a journalist allegedly after he took photographs of some children mopping the floor in their school.
The journalist was arrested on false charges of extortion and obstructing public servants from discharging their duty, alleged a fellow journalist Sudhir Singh, who, along with other journalists met District magistrate N P Singh to apprise him of the alleged illegal arrest.
"No injustice will be meted out to the journalist. We will look into the matter," said Azamgarh DM N P Singh. Singh also ordered a probe into the matter. Local journalist Santosh Jaiswal was arrested here last week on Friday after he took photographs of school children, mopping the floor and called up police to apprise them of the illegal practice by school authorities, said Sudhir Singh.
Journalist Singh said the police, responding to Jaiswal's call reached the school and took both Jaiswal and principal Radhey Shyam Yadav of the Oodpur primary school to the police station. At the Phulpur police station, the school principal lodged a complaint against Jaiswal on the basis of which an FIR was registered against him and he was arrested, said Singh.
The FIR No 237, registered on September 6, 2019 against the journalist, quotes the school principal as saying that Jaiswal often visited the school and misbehaved with both male and female teachers and students and tried to persuade them to subscribe to the newspaper published by him.
Yadav said in the FIR that on the day of the incident Jaiswal came to the school and ordered some children to mop the floor to facilitate him take their photographs. Yadav said he objected to his act, following which Jaiswal fled the school premises leaving his vehicle there and later demanded money from him. Sudhir Singh, who works as a stringer for a New Delhi-based national news agency, refuted the charges against the arrested journalist, saying the local police nursed a grudge against him.
He said Jaiswal had in May this year posted on his Twitter handle a photograph of Phulpur Police Station House Officer Shivshankar Singh's SUV with tinted window and without number plate. Responding to Jaiswal's the post on Twitter, the police had said the photograph of the SHO's SUV was an old one and the vehicle had already been registered with the transport authorities and also gave its registration number, said Sudhir Singh.
But a local youth claimed that the registration number given by the SHO as that of his SUV was his motorcycle's number, said Sudhir Singh. This prompted Jaiswal to publish a story in his newspaper about the whole episode, he said, adding the police nursed a grudge against the journalist since then.