Mumbai court grants bail to journalist arrested for allegedly causing unrest among migrants

Migrant workers in front of Bandra station | ANI

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Bombay: A Munbai court on Thursday granted bail to a television journalist arrested for allegedly “spreading disinformation” with his report that the government was considering launching Jan Sadharan train services for migrants, which allegedly led at a crowd rally in Bandra.

Rahul Kulkarni, a reporter for a Marathi news channel, was arrested by Mumbai police on Wednesday, a day after several migrant workers gathered near Bandra station to demand that they be returned to their hometown original.

Kulkarni was presented Thursday before a magistrate in Bandra where the police requested his custody.

The court, however, dismissed the police plea and placed Kulkarni in judicial custody, following which his lawyer Subodh Desai immediately filed for bail.

After hearing brief arguments, the court granted him a bond of Rs 15,000.

Ten other people arrested in the case were taken into police custody until April 19.

Police reserved Kulkarni under Sections 269 of Indian Penal Code (act of negligence likely to spread infection with life-threatening disease) and 505 (b) (intent to cause fear or alarm among the public by which any person can be led to commit an offense against the State or against the public peace) and the provisions of the law on epidemic diseases.

Police say Kulkarni told a “false” story, claiming that the railways would launch special trains to bring migrant workers stranded in Maharashtra back to their home countries.

Police said hundreds of migrant workers gathered at Bandra station on Tuesday after watching the news, and were then dispersed.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Sanjay Raut hailed the court’s decision to grant Kulkarni bail.

He said the journalist’s arrest in connection with the gathering of migrants in Bandra was unfortunate.

Speaking to a news channel, Raut said government and the media are both important pillars of democracy.

“Both sides must be aware that such an incident should not happen again. I am happy that journalist Rahul Kulkarni has been released on bail. The police should find out the truth about the charges on which he was arrested, ”said member of Rajya Sabha.

Raut, who is the editor-in-chief of Shiv Sena ‘Saamana’ spokesperson, said he was speaking as a journalist and not as the leader of Sena.

He said “the railways were also responsible for the problem.”

Read also : How not to report: A lesson from Republic TV, Times Now, ABP covering Bandra migrants

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