Suresh Chavhanke, Editor-in-Chief and Chief Managing Director of Sudarshan Channel, who has been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police, was planning to visit Sambhal district of western Uttar Pradesh to lead a protest rally after the district situation is tense since March 29 when locals attacked police and beaten them. Chavhanke is also facing rape charges.
The CMD of the Sudarshan channel was booked under Sections 153 A(1), 295A and 505(1)B of the Indian Penal Code and also under section 16 of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1955.Chavhanke was scheduled to visit Sambhal to lead a protest rally. Sambhal, some 370 km away from Lucknow, has remained on the swelling since last couple of weeks when locals attacked police on March 29.
Suresh Chavhanke was arrested on Wednesday night by Sambhal police with the help of local police from the Chowdhury Charan Singh Airport, when he was about to leave the city, the official said.
“This is a sheer rudeness of the Police, apart from being a direct challenge to the Government headed by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has raised demands with the Yogi Adityanath Government to immediately suspend the Superintendent of Police, Sambhal Mr. Ravi Shanka Chhabi failing to safeguard the constitutional religious rights of Hindus and speedy arrest of Imam Babar by registering an offence against him for issuing life-threatening statements to him,” said Ramesh Shinde, National Spokesperson, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.
It was alleged that Sudarshan channel had telecast a programme in which its Editor-in-Chief and Chief Managing Director Suresh Chavhanke dished out objectionable content because of which tension prevailed in the western UP. The FIR was registered by the SHO when the matter was raised during a meeting of the Peace Committee on April 9, in which prominent citizens pointed out the programme telecast between, April 6 to April 8.
Chavhanke is also facing rape and criminal intimidation charges alleged by his former employee. An FIR was lodged against him in November, 2016. In her complaint, the employee alleged that she was sexually harassed by Chavhanke for more than five years. Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, was also named in the FIR registered by the Noida Police.
When contacted Chavhanke’s victim about his arrest, she said, “I wish the police was as quick as in my case too as they have shown swiftness in this case. I am still waiting for justice, but police never arrest him in my case. He was still roaming freely and appearing on national television.”
“He is not only a communal fanatic but also a molester and to save this man, all right wing organisations tarnished my image and pressurise police not to arrest him,” she added.
Another former employee of a channel said under the condition of anonymity, “This arrest will definitely make him hero there. Soon, you will see him enjoying a plum political post. He has capacity to turn the entire saga for his own advantage.”
Ramakant Upadhyay, a priest of Ganesh Temple said, “He is only sane and just got the platform to raise his voice, and he is innocent. This is nothing but plot by jihadi propagandist. This man has saved our religion and he should be protected. His arrest is threat to Hindutva”.