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Editors Guild opposes Andhra journalist's arrest

"The action of the Hyderabad police in registering an FIR against S. Nagesh Kumar, Resident Editor of The Hindu for publishing a report on DGP V. Dinesh Reddy meeting Habib Mustafa Idrus Baba, represents a gross abuse of power over a personal grievance," the guild said in a statement here.

"The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh should issue instructions to ensure the freedom of the press is protected against such abuse of power vested in the hands of the police who, as this case illustrates, are not above seeking to cover up their embarrassment by abusing the process of the law," it said.

According to the statement, "A reading of the report on the meeting makes it clear that it is factual and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be regarded as inducing the commitment of any offence against the state or against public tranquility, nor does it even remotely amount to forgery as alleged in the complaint."

Noting that the "DGP might have been embarrassed by the report," the guild said "that hardly makes it an offence under the law."

"That the complainant, Ram Narasimha Reddy, ACP (Madhapur) and president of the Andhra Pradesh Police Gazetted Officers' Association, is an officer of the police force working under V. Dinesh Reddy makes the registration of the FIR highly problematical," said the statement.

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