Mandi: The Himachal Pradesh police booked three journalists on Wednesday who reported about curfew violations by three brick kilns in chief minister Jai Ram Thakur’s home district Mandi in the state.
The police registered cases against the Brick Kiln owners in Sundernagar sub-division on the basis of the news reports but cases were also filed against the whistleblower journalists.
Sundernagar deputy superintendent of police Gurbachan Singh confirmed registration of the six cases including three against the brick kiln owners for curfew/lockdown violations and three against local journalists on charges of trespassing and misbehaving with labourers on the complaints lodged by the brick kiln owners.
All FIRs were filed under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC and relevant sections of Disaster Management Act. Further investigation in the matter was going on, he added.
Earlier on April 10, an FIR was registered under the same sections on the basis of a complaint by Sundernagar SDM Rahul Chauhan against a multimedia journalist, Ashwani Saini, in Sundernagar for allegedly publishing “fake news” about migrant labourers not getting ration.
The cases against the brick kiln owners were registered after live telecast of their functioning in violation of lockdown restrictions.
Three brick kilns situated at Naulakha, Sai and Bhor near Sundernagar were shown running with about 300 migrant labourers in the live reports by some local journalists.
Following the issue being highlighted in the media, the police stopped the work at the brick kilns and filed three FIRs.