According to the media house, they had received a tip off that logs of either sandalwood or teak wood were being smuggled to Patna.

Telangana top cop calls TV channel a sex worker after story accuses him of smugglingCitizen Forum Karimnagar
news Controversy Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 17:07

On October 29, journalists got into a heated argument with Telangana DGP of Prisons, Vinoy Kumar Singh at his office, this after he insinuated that HMTV, a Telugu news channel, was like a ‘commercial sex worker.’ Singh made this remark after HMTV aired news on October 26 which alleged that he was involved in smuggling teak-wood to Patna in Bihar.

Agitated with this allegation, VK Singh invited journalists to attend a press meet titled “Commercial Sex Worker Behavior of HMTV” on October 29. Journalists boycotted the press conference objecting to Singh’s description of the media house.

The DGP, however, remained defiant and stated that he was only against ‘unethical’ journalists.  

Speaking to TNM on Wednesday, he stated that he would begin a campaign, ‘Raise Voice,’ to condemn and work against unethical journalists and media houses. “It is a conspiracy by HMTV to disrepute and defame me. I can tell with total conviction that is not an error but a clear conspiracy,” he said, “I regret referring to them (HMTV) as a commercial sex worker, because commercial sex workers are honest people who don’t extort or blackmail. I am searching for a better word to describe HMTV. I don’t have a derogatory word in my vocabulary which can suit them.”

The Allegation

On October 26, HMTV aired a story which stated that DGP VK Singh was involved in smuggling teak-wood. The report claimed that two officials belonging to the Prisons Department were carrying logs of teak-wood without any legal document or receipt from Secunderabad railway station through Danapur Express.

According to the media house, they had received a tip off that logs of either sandalwood or teak-wood were being smuggled to Patna. However, they did not know who was behind it. The reporter accompanied Railway Police as they searched the cargo bogey for evidence of the same, but were unable to find anything at the time.

Later, however, they found two persons carrying huge boxes of wood logs in an air-conditioned coach. Upon questioning the individuals were identified as Bhaskara Chary, warden of the Chanchalguda jail, and Rajender, another officer from the same department. The duo acted suspiciously and were not able to produce a receipt to prove that the logs were legally purchased.

When the reporter further questioned Chary, the latter alleged that the wood was being taken to VK Singh’s home in Patna for decorating his pooja room. HMTV subsequently aired the story based on Chary’s statement.

However, contradicting the claims made by HMTV, Secunderabad Government Railway Police said that they hadn’t questioned Chary when he was on the train but did so later at the platform.

Case against HMTV

After the news was reported, the Government Railway Police filed a case of extortion on October 26, against the journalists for ‘heckling’ prisons officials and creating nuisance. The police later said that they have legal documents to prove that Bhaskara Chary had legally purchased the logs amounting to Rs 2,900 from Goshamahal which he was taking to his home in Ramagundam in Telangana, and not to Patna.

‘Stand with our story’

Despite VK Singh alleging that there was a conspiracy against him, HMTV has said that they stand by the report and have strongly condemned the derogatory remarks by the DGP.

“We stand by the story and our reporters. It was a confusion created by the jail officials who didn’t produce documents initially and then made several claims which were fishy. When they said that they don’t have a legal document or receipt, isn’t it then illegal transportation or smuggling?” said HMTV Chief Executive Officer, Srinivas Reddy.  He further said that they have all evidence necessary to prove that the DGP was involved in the issue.

However, HMTV has taken down the video from its YouTube channel. Reddy added that they were unwilling to drag the issue out. The CEO and the DGP have also scheduled a meeting to resolve the issue.

Journalists condemn DGP

The Telangana Union of Working Journalists have condemned the obscene remarks made by VK Singh. Further they have also turned to the state Director General of Police, Mahender Reddy, and sought his intervention in the matter.

A round table conference was held on Wednesday by HMTV to discuss the issue, however, Singh made it clear that he wouldn’t apologize for his statements.

 

 

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