Suresh Chavhanke, Editor-in-Chief of Sudarshan News channel courted controversy for releasing a promo of their upcoming program on increasing numbers of Muslim candidates clearing civil services exam, tagging it as 'UPSC Jihad'.
The video shared by Chavhanke on Twitter sparked an outrage for its "hateful agenda" targeting the Muslim community.
Chavhanke, in the video, speaks about the increasing number of Muslim candidates clearing UPSC exam and says, "Sarkari naukriyo me Musalmano ke ghuspaith par bada khuslasa, aakhir achank Musalman IAS IPS me kaise badhgaye (Big revelation on increasing number of Muslims clearing government jobs, how come more and more Muslims are becoming IAS and IPS now? )." Chavhanke also goes on to say that what will happen if Jihadis from Jamia becomes your district collectors and secretaries.
Who is Suresh Chavhanke?
Suresh hails from Shirdi, Maharashtra and claims to be a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since he was three years old.
In terms of his career in the news media, he has worked for the pro-RSS newspaper Tarun Bharat, before his launching his news channel in 2005.
In 2016, a former employee accused Chavhanke of raping and molesting her besides indulging in criminal intimidation. The woman claimed that he had been exploiting her since 2013 on the pretext of marriage.
The same woman also accused self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu’s son, Narain Sai, of attempt to rape and molestation.
According to Hindustan Times, Chavhanke was booked by the Noida police under 11 sections of the IPC including charges of rape, unnatural sex attempt, attempt to murder, forced miscarriage, criminal intimidation, cheating and insulting the modesty of a woman.
In 2017, Suresh was arrested by the Lucknow Police for inciting communal hatred. He was booked under Sections 153 A (1), 295A and 505(1)B of the Indian Penal Code and also under section 16 of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1955.
After being released on bail, he claimed that it was an attempt to "suppress and intimidate media".
Jamia’s response to the video
Jamia Millia Islamia on Thursday called for a meeting to discuss if legal action can be initiated against the channel for its promo.
"We have called a meeting to discuss the next course of action against the TV channel for airing mala fide content. Every student of Jamia's Residential Coaching Academy who has cleared the UPSC exam should file an FIR against the channel for its hateful content," Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, told IANS.
She also said not many know that out of 30 students of Jamia's Residential Coaching Academy who have cleared the UPSC this year, almost 50 per cent are non-Muslims.
Complaint filed by Nerul resident
Meanwhile, a Nerul resident has lodged a complaint with the police against Chavahnke.
Mayur Panghal, the resident Nerul who lodged a complaint with Nerul police on Thursday alleged that Chavahnke used a social media platform to publish the inflammatory and criminal statements targeting Muslims. “The statement has been issued on the internet which has a vast reach and this could disturb the social harmony,” said Panghal. He added that this is unfortunate that Chavahnke is questioning the recruitment process and targeting a government institution.
The programme is scheduled to air on Friday on Sudarshan channel. While talking to FPJ, Chavahnke said that he is not going to change his stand and the programme will be shown as per the schedule.
“I am not going to change my stand and I will put all the facts during the show,” said Chavahnke. He added that he is ready to discuss it with anyone in the programme.
Chavahnke alleged that a particular community claims that their presence in a government institution is very low. “At one side their number is increasing and another side they make a false claim,” said Chavahnke.
A senior official from Nerul police station said that the legal team is going through the complaint and accordingly, they will take action if required.