Hyderabad : There has been a spate of complaints – from extortion to blackmail – against ‘reporters’ Considering the rise in the criminal complaints against ‘press reporters’, especially in the old city, the police are now planning to hold a meeting with journalists’ unions, media and newspaper managements soon. Senior police officials of the city police are puzzled following a spate of complaints, ranging from extortion to blackmail and cheating cases, against ‘reporters’.
On Wednesday, a housewife, Tabassum of Falaknuma, set herself ablaze following harassment of her husband, Babaloo, by a ‘reporter’, a human rights activist, and a realtor. The trio had allegedly demanded Rs. 1 lakh from her husband, a history-sheeter at Bahadurpura police station, by threatening to get him detained under the PD Act.
“A case has been registered against all the three persons. Action will be initiated against them as per the law. We will also be holding a meeting with journalists’ unions and seek their help in curbing the problem,” DCP (south) V. Satyanarayana said.
A few months ago, the Chandrayangutta police registered a case of sexual assault against a ‘reporter’ who claimed to work for news channel.
Similarly, a couple of cases were also registered against a few ‘reporters’ for their alleged involvement in land related issues. “As everyone is carrying a press identity card, it is becoming difficult for us to distinguish between a genuine and a fake reporter,” another police official said.
According to sources, the special branch has alerted their law and order counterparts about organised syndicates of ‘reporters’ collecting mamools, extorting money from criminals, and duping people by promising to help them get benefit of government schemes.
The Cyberabad police had earlier booked several persons who claimed to be journalists and were extorting money. “It has come to our notice that some persons are selling the identity cards for a price between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,500. Using it, a few persons are claiming to be journalists and extorting money or indulging in criminal activities,” a police official said.
Police inspectors also complained to the senior officials that some reporters are visiting the police stations several times during the day and interfering in the day-to-day functioning.
Sources said that a few crime syndicates have managed to obtain a few identity cards from different agencies for their own people who try to influence or mislead police investigations.
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