The police on Sunday arrested the director and chairman of Chitra Publications Pvt. Ltd. B.V. Seetaram near Karkala in Udupi district in connection with an old case.
Seetharam told The Hindu that he was travelling from Kateel in Dakshina Kannada to Kundapur in Udupi district via Karkala, when five or six police vans chased his car and stopped him.
He said: “The police said that I was under arrest. Nearly 25 policemen surrounded me. But they did not produce any arrest warrant. I demanded an arrest warrant. Then, they sent a policeman to the Shirva police station to get the warrant. I am made to appear as if I am a habitual offender. My wife is also with me. The case in which they have arrested me is a two-year-old defamation case. The case had earlier been dealt by the Sessions Court and it had been then found that my name and designation were not properly written. Now, they are arresting me in the same case. They only want to harass me and humiliate me. I would not be surprised, if I am killed in a police encounter,” Seetaram said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police of Karkala Sub-division Santhosh Kumar said that Seetaram was being arrested in connection with an old case registered at a police station in Shirva village in Udupi district.
“We will produce Seetaram before the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Udupi. Seetaram’s wife is also with him. We offered to provide a car for her,” he said.
Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) A.R. Infant said he had asked the Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) A.M. Prasad to look into the matter.
His information was that there was a non-bailable warrant pending against Seetaram
Udupi, Jan 5, 2009. The Hindu.
Mangalore: ‘Karavali Ale’ B V Seetharam Rejects Bail
Udupi, Jan 6: Director and chairman of the Mangalore-based Chitra Publications Private Limited BV Seetaram was remanded to judicial custody till January 17 by the court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class here on Monday January 5. He was produced before the court handcuffed with tight security comprising of a gun man and four police officials.
He had been arrested from near Karkala on Sunday January 4 in connection with a defamation case. Judicial Magistrate First Class Sujatha ordered the extension of judicial custody till January 17 after Seetharam rejected bail, stating that he was apprehensive that the police would arrest him in connection with other cases which have been booked in some police stations. Therefore, he intended to remain in judicial custody for his personal safety, he said. Later he was hospitalized at Udupi district government hospital for treatment since he is a diabetic. It is learnt, that the policemen belonging to Bajpe police station had come here to arrest him in connection with a case pending there, in case he secured bail.
Speaking to media persons Seetaram’s advocate Shashikanth Shetty said that the editor was directed to give a self-bond for granting of bail, but he refused to do so. He feels that his life is under threat in the hands of the police and the state government. ‘Bringing the accused handcuffed to court was a violation of human rights. I have seen robbers and thieves being brought to court without handcuffs’, he added.
Terming his arrest as an attack on freedom of the press, Seetaram said that the police insisted on handcuffing him. “This is a malicious campaign sponsored by the Baharatiya Janata Party government to muzzle the voice of the newspaper. My newspapers raised its voice against the MSEZ and attack on Christians in Mangalore and elsewhere. We had filed complaints against the attackers who ransacked my office and also the shops of the news agents in the city, but no action has been taken,” he said. He also feared attacks by the Bajrang Dal activists in jail. Seetaram has been advised rest and treatment for three days by the doctor.
He said that the police had hatched a plan to execute him through a fake encounter in the deep forest near Karkala. “I am safe because of the mobile calls. I got information on encounter plans from the police sources themselves”, he claimed.
It may be recalled, that ‘Karavali Ale’ newspaper office in Mangalore was attacked on November 17, 2008. Meanwhile, miscreants have been attacking news agents, hawkers and delivery vans of this newspaper for the last one and half months to disturb its distribution network.