This Article is From Aug 23, 2022

Video: Forced To Get Journalists Arrested, Says Madhya Pradesh Official

In a video clip, Rajiv Kaurav, the Medical Officer of Daboh, can be heard as saying: "How can I file the complaint on my own, when I don't know any of the journalists?"

Video: Forced To Get Journalists Arrested, Says Madhya Pradesh Official

Three journalists were arrested based on an officer's complaint who said he filed it under pressure.


A government officer who had supposedly filed a complaint against three journalists in Madhya Pradesh for a news report, prompting their arrest, says he was coerced into doing so.

"How can I file the complaint on my own, when I don't know any of the journalists who are named in the complaint? The complaint was filed under pressure from senior officials," Rajiv Kaurav, the Medical Officer of Daboh, says in a video that is being circulated by the opposition Congress.

The arrest of the journalists, in the Lahar town of Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district for showing how a family had to transport an elderly man to the hospital on a handcart after failing to get an ambulance, has triggered a major outcry.

Journalists carried out a protest march in Lahar yesterday and handed over an appeal to Sub-Divisional Magistrate RA Prajapati addressed to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, demanding the withdrawal of cases against the three journalists.

The officer was part of a fact-finding committee formed by the district's top government official following the complaint allegedly filed by Rajiv Kaurav.

Based on the report of the panel, a case of forgery was registered against three journalists - Kunjbihari Kaurav, Anil Sharma and N.K. Bhatele - on August 18.

The fact-finding committee had reported that the story by the journalists concerned, which was reported on social, print and electronic media, was false and baseless as the family had not made any phone calls for an ambulance. The elderly man was taken to a private hospital and not to a government hospital, unlike what was reported.

However, Gyaprasad Vishwakarma's son Hari Singh and daughter Pushpa confirmed what the journalists had reported was true, as they did take their ailing father to hospital on a hand-drawn cart, after their phone calls to fetch an ambulance were unsuccessful.

Dr Govind Singh, the Leader of the Opposition, also came out in support of the three journalists and accused the local administration, particularly the SDM of Lahar, of pressurising the family into making false statements against the journalists and then getting a complaint filed with police against them.

"The local administration in Bhind is looting people and when media is exposing the truth, the administration is filing false cases against journalists. I request the Chief Minister to order withdrawal of the false cases [against the journalists] and direct filing of a case against the erring officials. I'll raise the matter in Vidhan Sabha next month," he said.