Bhubaneswar; Sept.16: The Kharavela Nagar police today arrested Bikash Swain, the printer and publisher of a local Oriya daily on cheating charges.
The editor of the Oriya newspaper is Uma Shankar Mishra, former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). However, the staff of the paper claimed that charges have also been slapped on Swain under the Arms Act, 1959.
Swain was arrested in the morning while on his way to office at Sriya Square from his house. He was remanded in judicial custody as his bail appeal was rejected by a local court. The arrest followed an FIR which alleged that Swain had cheated a person by promising him a job.
Police sources confirmed that Swain had been booked under Sections 420,467,468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code relating to cheating and forgery.
Navin Das, the managing editor of the Oriya newspaper, however said that charges have also been made against Swain under the Arms Act, 1959, though no weapons were seized from him.
Describing the arrest as a vindictive action, Das said his paper had been targeted as it carried stories against the police and the government in the recent past.
“We have carried stories on police encounters besides reports which the government would not be very comfortable with. But to arrest a person in this fashion, whose father is suffering from cancer, is just not fair,” said Das.
The incident evoked sharp reactions from mediapersons as their umbrella organisation, Media Unity For Freedom of Press, has condemned the manner of the arrest.
“Swain is no criminal. The police could have arrested him from his house. Even his family was kept in the dark about the arrest,” said Prashant Patnaik, of Media Unity For Free dom of Press.