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Raipur: Another local journalist based in Bastar found himself on the wrong side of the Chhattisgarh police, when he was picked up on Monday evening at 6pm. Prabhat Singh, a journalist based in Dantewada, in south Bastar was produced before a magistrate on Tuesday evening, where he stated that he had been beaten in police custody and not given food all night.
Singh, a reporter for Patrika, a Hindi daily of the Rajasthan Patrika Group, till a few days ago for the news channel ETV, has been booked under the IT act and sent to judicial remand in Jagdalpur.
Singh’s lawyer, Kishore Narain, who practices in the Bilaspur high court, told dna that Singh had been slapped with Sec 67 and 67(a) of the IT Act, which makes publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form an offence.
He added that it seems to be a “Whatsapp or Facebook post” that has been called into question. Which post does not seem to be clear and, Narain said, the investigation into the matter is still on. He did say that, “the accused has never shared any sexually explicit material on whatsapp or Facebook so the section does not hold.” However, the magistrate felt that the matter needed probing and denied the bail plea.
It is also not yet known who has filed the case against Singh.
“The next hearing is on 26 March in the sessions court Dantewada,” said Narain, where they will again ask for bail.
Bastar based writer and researcher Bela Bhatia, and Adivasi activist Soni Sori accompanied Singh to court. Bhatia told dna that they could not talk to Singh as the police would not allow any outsiders to interact with him, but she repeated what his lawyer said; Singh told the magistrate that he had been beaten in police custody.