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ABP Majha reporter Rahul Gurugranth Kulkarni gets bail

ABP Majha’s reporter Rahul Gurugranth Kulkarni, who was arrested for rumour-mongering and spreading fake news through the channel, has been granted bail.

As reported earlier by Adgully, there are several reports purporting to draw a connection between a huge gathering of migrant labourers at Mumbai’s Bandra West station and a news story run on ABP Majha. An ABP News Network spokesperson affirmed that these reports were entirely misconceived and were being circulated “with the sole intention of baselessly maligning ABP Majha”. He insisted that the channel’s news story was broadcast in public interest and on the basis of valid documents and information.

Following this incident, Rajat Sharma, President, News Broadcasters Association (NBA), wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thakrey, requesting for dropping of charges and release of Kulkarni and to adopt the recourse of filing complaint before the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA).

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Defending Kulkarni, Sharma in his letter stated, that he “is a person with impeccable record and known for his upright journalism” and added, “NBA condemns the said unreasonable arrest. The arrest is a serious infringement on the right of freedom of speech and is a frontal assault on the freedom of press. The fundamental right of freedom of speech is sought to be gagged and any further custody and incarceration of him would be a serious infraction of the constitutional mandate and would also threaten his life.”

Following Kulkarni's bail, Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP News Network, thanked every journalist who stood by the group in support of ‘responsible journalism’ and said, “Today, journalists are risking their lives by going out of home and reporting the truth, which is incredible.”

Pandey further said, “ABP Majha’s reporter Rahul Gurugranth Kulkarni, who was falsely accused and arrested for rumour-mongering and spreading fake news through the channel, has been granted a bail by the court. Once again, we at ABP Majha continue to stand our ground and will confront any malicious attempt to damage our reputation with all our sincerity and grit. To insinuate that reports are based on fake news was absolutely outrageous. Nonetheless, we have full faith in the judiciary system of India and we will do everything in our capacity to fight this menace of fake news and misinformation.”

He maintained, “ABP Majha is a respectable and responsible news channel and has, in the past, demonstrated the same, by ensuring accuracy of information and credibility of its sources before broadcasting and Rahul Kulkarni has not deviated from practices of responsible journalism. With that said, we will ensure our full support to an impartial investigation, to bring the real culprits to justice.”

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