Rahul video: Chhattisgarh police to seek legal options against UP counterparts

Noida: A Chhattisgarh Police team camping here to arrest a TV news anchor over a “doctored video” of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is expected to return Thursday, with officials saying it is exploring legal options against its counterparts in Noida and Ghaziabad.

The 11-member team from Raipur, led by a deputy superintendent of police, landed in Ghaziabad on Tuesday morning to arrest Zee News anchor Rohit Ranjan. The anchor and others have been booked for airing the misleading video on his show on July 1.

However, the team from Congress-governed Chhattisgarh could not arrest Ranjan as police officials from Noida and Ghaziabad in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh whisked him away a few hours earlier.

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On Wednesday, the visiting police team issued summons to Ranjan and some of his colleagues to join the probe in Raipur on July 12 to get their statements recorded in connection with the FIR lodged there.

Ranjan was arrested by the Noida police in connection with a probe into a case lodged by it on a complaint by Zee Media group over the video.

The Noida police on Tuesday night announced it had released Ranjan from the police station itself following an inquiry as the offence invoked in the case was a bailable one, while the Chhattisgarh police team, which had an arrest warrant and a court order for his arrest, declared the anchor an “absconder” on Wednesday.

“The Chhattisgarh police team had come to arrest the TV anchor but the local police in Ghaziabad and Noida obstructed the procedure. The accused is now untraceable, and the local police are not sharing any information about his whereabouts,” an official privy to the probe told PTI.

“The team from Raipur is expected to return home later on Thursday. They are now seeking legal options available to them against the Ghaziabad and Noida police,” the official claimed.

Meanwhile, the anchor, who is facing several FIRs in different states for the doctored video, on Thursday again sought urgent hearing from the Supreme Court on his plea seeking protection from coercive action for the alleged offence.

A vacation bench headed by Justice Indira Banerjee, which had on Wednesday ordered listing of the plea for hearing on Thursday, said it was awaiting assignment from the chief justice.

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