The State Election Commission has asked the Delhi Police not to hold any press conference, especially those related to terror cases, which could influence voters or create a polarised environment.
The order was passed in the last week of March, just days after the Delhi Police held two press conferences and announced the arrest of alleged top Indian Mujahideen operative Tehseen Akhtar, Pakistani national Waqas, and three youths from Rajasthan who were also suspected to be linked to the IM.
“Police was issued an advisory to refrain from publicising their work till the election process was over. Such press conferences have the potential to adversely affect the electoral process,” said Ankur Garg, chief nodal officer for model code of conduct at the SEC.
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The Chief Electoral Officer is believed to have passed the order after the two press conferences were reported extensively by the national media, with the reports saying that BJP leaders, particularly the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, were IM targets.
The SEC letter said that information reported by the media would influence voters and create a polarised environment. It also said the investigating agency should seek the permission of the SEC before making any information public.
The Delhi police stopped holding press conferences and even off-the-record briefings about details emerging from the interrogation of the alleged IM operatives after the SEC order.