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Two More TV Channels Booked For Defamatory Telecast

PTI 09 Jan 2010, 16:20:48 PM IST

Andhra Pradesh police booked cases against two more Telugu news channels including one owned by Congress MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy over a report alleging conspiracy in the death of former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash.

The city police booked cases against NTV and Sakshi TV owned by the YSR's son for airing news stories quoting a website report that there could be a foul play in the death of YSR in the crash in September last year, police said.

The channels were booked on charges of promoting enmity among different groups. Suo motu cases of inciting ill-feeling among a section of people under Section 153 (A) and 505 (2) of IPC and Section 16 Cable Network Regulation Act were registered against Sakshi TV with Punjagutta police station and against NTV with Banjara Hills police station.

The State police booked a case against TV-5 management on similar charges and arrested two of its senior journalists -- Bramhananda Reddy and P Venkat Krishna on Friday night.

The reports triggered widespread protests in the state as agitators vandalised the properties of both Reliance and ADAG groups. "All the three cases have been transferred to CID and there could be some more arrests as the investigation progresses," a senior police official told PTI today.

The two arrested journalists are being interrogated and will be produced before a local court for remand, a senior CID official said.

 Sources in the department said the police are cautious in proceeding for further arrests as there were widespread protests by Journalist Associations all over the State after the CID arrested the TV-5 editors.

Congress workers on Thursday night went on rampage and resorted to wide-spread destruction of properties belonging to the corporate groups including damaging buses in various parts of the state, following the news report.

Reliance Industries Ltd  has already  slammed the news report telecast on TV5 channel, saying it "condemned, rejected, rebutted the allegation of TV5 channel".

 “We are shocked and outraged at the false, malicious, motivated and libelous news on TV5 Channel concerning the fatal mishap of Shri YS Rajasekhara Reddy's helicopter. We condemn, rebut and reject the allegation with the contempt it deserves," a statement from the company said.

 "It is the dirty handiwork of our business rivals in cahoots with TV5. We will file a criminal complaint against the channel. We also demand that the central and state governments initiate an immediate investigation into these despicable acts and bring the culprits to justice”, the statement said.