Acting on directions issued by the Election Commission, Ghaziabad police Tuesday arrested Shashank Shekhar Tripathi, online editor of Hindi daily Dainik Jagran, after a case was registered against the editor-in-chief and managing director of the publication for running an exit poll on the first phase of the UP assembly elections last week. Tripathi was later granted bail by a local court.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Uttar Pradesh DGP Javeed Ahmad said, “The arrest was made on the basis of circumstances. Apart from Tripathi, no other person has been arrested in the case.”
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Manish Kumar Mishra, DSP, Ghaziabad, said, “An FIR under IPC section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 126A and 126B of the Representation of People Act, 1951 was registered at Kavi Nagar police station on Monday night. The FIR was registered against the editor-in-chief and managing editor of Dainik Jagran as well as the management of RDI (the firm that allegedly conducted the exit poll) after a complaint from the district administration office. Shashank Shekhar Tripathi, editor of the newspaper’s online portal jagran.com, was arrested earlier today. He was granted bail by the district court later in the afternoon.”
The complaint, based on which the FIR was registered, stated: “Following the first phase of polling for UP assembly elections on February 11, an exit poll to mislead common people was published in Dainik Jagran newspaper on February 13. Due to the publishing of this, there is a possibility of adverse impact on the next phases of voting for UP assembly polls. This is a complete violation of the election model code of conduct.”
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Late Monday evening, a similar FIR was also lodged at Gautam Buddha Nagar district’s Surajpur police station. The development comes a day after the Election Commission asked District Election Officers in all 15 districts of UP — where the first phase of polling took place on February 11 — to lodge FIRs against the management of Dainik Jagran and RDI.