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News channel behind sting video on Harish Rawat goes off air in Uttarakhand, Opposition cries foul

Author: Scroll Staff
Publication: Scroll.in
Date: May 26, 2016
URL:   http://scroll.in/latest/808799/news-channel-behind-sting-video-on-harish-rawat-goes-off-air-in-uttarakhand-opposition-cries-foul

The channel's editor took to Facebook on Wednesday and said that an emergency-like situation is prevailing in Congress strongholds in the state.

The local news channel that conducted a sting operation on Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat in March went off air in the state on Tuesday, reported Hindustan Times. Rawat was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the video, which allegedly shows him offering bribes to rebel Congress legislators to secure their support in an Assembly floor test.

On Wednesday, the editor of the channel, Umesh Kumar, took to Facebook and said there was an emergency-like situation prevailing in Congress strongholds. He said the channel had been blocked for 19 hours in an "act of vindictiveness". His post led to widespread debate about the events, which many users termed as an act of vendetta on the part of the Rawat government.

Though the ruling Congress has denied involvement in the development, Harak Rawat, one of the rebel Congress MLAs, burnt an effigy of the chief minister's as a sign of protest. Harak Rawat is now part of the Bharatiya Janata Party. "The government has not banned any channel. We honour the independence of media but it has to be ensured that media forum is not misused,” the chief minister's spokesperson said.


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