Hyderabad: A CCTV footage of a journalist's arrest by Telangana police on Thursday has gone viral on social media with journalist unions and opposition parties alleged that personnel in civil dress had ill-treated and forcibly taken him away.
The journalist in the viral video was identified as Raghu Ramakrishna. Raghu has been writing and contributing to news and opinion pieces that are critical of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
His family initially thought he had been kidnapped until the Mattampally police in Suryapet issued a statement saying he had been arrested.
The report noted that the police said he had been charged under penal sections including rioting, causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty, and unlawful assembly.
According to Superintendent of Police for Suryapet district R Bhaskaran, Raghu was arrested in a case lodged at Mattampally police station a week ago.
Mr Bhaskaran said that Raghu's wife has approached the High Court and further actions as per law will be taken up and submit before the High Court.
In the short footage shared by Telangana MLA Danasari Anasuya on her official social media handle, the journalist can be seen buying groceries from a cart on the roadside. Suddenly, two men in civilian clothes, appear from nowhere and stand behind him for a few seconds before grabbing him and forcing him into what looks like a private white car parked right behind.
When asked about personnel in civil dress ill-treating and forcing journalist Raghu, the SP said necessary action would be initiated in this matter.
The viral video led to strong reactions and outrage from residents. Journalist unions and political parties across the region condemned the arrest and expressed their anger at the state government's move.
"Is it kidnap or arrest? This is how the Telangana government treats journalists if you raise a voice against them," Ms Anasuya tweeted on June 8 along with the CCTV footage.
Meanwhile, The Telangana High Court on Wednesday ordered the Director-General of Police Telangana to submit details of Raghu's case in front of the court on or before June 14.