In a development that has ignited discussions about media freedom, Sudarshan News editor Mukesh Kumar was apprehended by the police for purportedly making inflammatory posts on social media concerning communal violence in Nuh and adjacent districts of Haryana. The violence, resulting in six fatalities, transpired after a Vishva Hindu Parishad procession was attacked on July 31.
News Editor Kumar’s arrest stems from a post on X (formerly Twitter) where he asserted that a foreign media entity had been exerting pressure on the Gurugram Police Commissioner to take action against Hindus in relation to the communal riots. The TV channel, Sudarshan News, denounced his arrest, initially claiming that Kumar had been abducted by unidentified individuals.
The channel’s statement read that Mukesh Kumar had journeyed to Mewat to provide support to struggling Hindu activists. In a shocking turn of events, he was reportedly abducted by a group of well-built individuals from his car in Sector 17, Gurugram. Sudarshan News criticized the Gurugram Police for their delay in releasing information about the arrest, asserting that the delay took seven hours.
Sudarshan News voiced its stance on the arrest, deeming it “totally illegal and wrong.” The channel reaffirmed its support for Mukesh Kumar and characterized his apprehension as an assault on media freedom. The hashtag #ReleaseMukeshKumar gained traction as part of their online protest against the arrest.
In response, the Gurugram Police contradicted Kumar’s claims, labeling them as baseless, false, and misleading. An FIR has been lodged against the journalist under relevant sections of the IT Act at the Cyber Crime unit of the East Police Station. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Varun Dahiya reported that Kumar was arrested and subsequently underwent a medical examination at a hospital.
Kumar’s social media post on August 8, in which he implicated foreign media pressure on local authorities, stirred controversy and attracted legal action. The post raised concerns about external influence impacting local law enforcement decisions.
The incident has sparked a broader conversation about the balance between media freedom and responsible journalism. Sudarshan News’ robust stance on Kumar’s arrest reflects the channel’s commitment to safeguarding the freedom of the press in the face of potential restrictions. As the case unfolds, questions about the boundaries of media expression, the role of social media, and the responsibilities of journalists remain at the forefront of public discourse.