The accused allegedly threatened, intimidated and stalked the Khabar Lahariya reporters over 3 months

Action taken against stalker only after orders from senior officials Khabar LahariyaInage source: Khabar Lahariya/Facebook
news Friday, September 18, 2015 - 09:26

After reporters of women-run news network "Khabar Lahariya" in Uttar Pradesh's Banda faced months of stalking and harassment by a serial caller, police have finally come to their aid - after orders from higher-ups - and the accused has been arrested.

In a press conference in Lucknow, "Khabar Lahariya" editor Kavita said after orders from senior officials, police in Banda in the state's Bundelkhand region took action to trace and capture the accused.

Kavita said the action was delayed, yet appreciated police's prompt and sensitive action.

Meera, the chief of operations, said there was a need for systems of security, like the 1090 helpline, to be more efficient and accountable, as well the environment to report cases of harassment to be more enabling.

Since January this year, five members of the publication were repeatedly harassed by an unknown caller, who identified himself as Nishu.

Despite a complaint, the matter, according to Kavita, was not taken seriously and brushed off as an "ordinary" case until orders from higher officials.

Describing the episode, the organisation on Facebook wrote, “Nishu threatened, intimidated and stalked the Khabar Lahariya reporters over 3 months.The Khabar Lahariya reporters filed complaints and formal FIRs at police stations in Banda and Chitrakoot, as well as a complaint in Mahoba. Despite providing information and statements to the police on many occasions, action was not taken on this case.

“The reporters also complained on the Women Power Line 1090 and to Vodafone company, however, the harassment continued. On September 14, 2015, when the story of harassment and stalking was written for an online magazine, The Ladies Finger, tremendous response was generated on social media. The UP Government issued directives for the police to take immediate action.”

The accused, Saddam alias Nishu, was arrested on Tuesday, shortly after orders from the state government.

Uttar Pradesh Police chief Jagan Mohan Yadav said changing mindsets in local police stations was the "challenge".

"Many efforts are being done for women's safety, such as the 1090 helpline. The challenge is in changing mindsets in police stations in the districts," the director general of police said in a statement.

With inputs from IANS