The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sleaze soap, live from a police station

Patna, July 7: A college professor accused of adultery had his face blackened amid chaos inside a police station after TV crews invaded the building in pursuit of a salacious story.

The 52-year-old professor’s “wronged” wife provided more drama for the cameras by roughing up his 25-year-old former student and lover.

The media had beaten the police to the love nest where Abha Choudhary caught Batuk Nath Choudhary with Julie this morning. As Abha, who claimed she was beaten up by her estranged husband, raised the alarm, the camera crews arrived, probably informed by neighbours who had also called up the police.

The lawkeepers entered the house in Sultanganj ' Choudhary’s college quarters in Patna ' surrounded by camera lights to confront a bare-chested professor, an unfazed Julie and a vocal Abha, all busy explaining their viewpoints to the media.

The TV crews followed the party to the Sultanganj police station, where a case was registered against Choudhary for harassment and assault. There, as the crowd grew and the police watched, a man blackened the professor’s face while Abha attacked Julie before the cameras.

A senior officer later accepted that “the police can face a case of human rights violation for failing to protect individuals’ (Choudhary’s and Julie’s) dignity”.

But Patna senior superintendent of police Kundan Krishnan was livid. “It’s all because of you mediamen,” he shouted at The Telegraph correspondent. “What can the police do when a sea of TV channels storm the police station and use it as a platform for a media trial'”

He was furious with Abha who spent the latter half of the day running from one TV studio to another. “Her complaint of harassment has to be substantiated with a medical examination; but she looks more keen on media coverage,” Krishnan said.

But the Hindi professor of B.N. College and his former BA-topper student, too, had their say on the small screen. Choudhary even crooned a few lines of the Jagjit Singh ghazal “na umr ki seema ho' (let age be no bar to love)” to defend his affair. Julie, an assistant editor with a Hindi magazine Choudhary edits, said: “Love is greater than marriage.”

Abha, who lives apart from Choudhary in a house owned by him, claimed her husband was a “compulsive sex maniac”.

The TV channels managed to contact Choudhary’s son Anurag in London. The 25-year-old, doing higher studies in Sweden, said his father was a “paedophile” and he “would soon teach my father a lesson”.

Krishnan wants the offending journalists identified. “I want these TVwallahs behind bars for causing nuisance and hampering public servants.”

Choudhary and Julie were sent for medical examination to verify their claims of having been roughed up by Abha and her supporters.

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