A day after Odisha Police picked up senior OTV journalist Ramesh Rath, today the police surrounded the premises of Odisha TV. The assault on the Odia media house by Odisha police came after OTV had published a report based on RTI replies that questioned the aerial survey of flood hit areas done by CM Naveen Patnaik in August this year.
According to reports, a team of police has been parked in front pf the premises of OTV since last night. The police arrived for a search operation, but when asked they said that they do not have a warrant for the same. When officials in the media house asked the police if they have a warrant, the Inspector of Keonjhar police station said that Police have powers to enter and search as part of an investigation without warrants.
The police also said that they leave only after searching the premises.
Speaking to Republic TV, R Mishra, News Editor of OTV said, “This is not the first time that OTV is being targeted. Ramesh Rath was the journalist who broke the news about the RTI response on CM Naveen Patnaik’s aerial survey. After a day, while he was on his way to the office, Keonjhar police picks him up in a van and they cease his two mobile phones and drags him to the Police station. No one is informed why is he been booked, whether they have an FIR lodged against him. Our anchor informed us about the incident, so we confirmed from the Commissioner of Police.” He alleged that OTV is being targeted individually. Keonjhar police have said that Ramesh Rath was picked up for questioning in a case related to the circulation of an obscene clip during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and not due to the OTV story on the CM’s aerial survey. Police said that Rath’s name came up in the probe, alleging that he is the one who provided video details. Police also said that Rath was released within a few hours after questioning.