FIR against J&K BJP leaders for ‘bribing’ journalists

Police FIR

SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir police have registered an FIR against state BJP leaders accused of attempting to bribe journalists during a press conference in Leh town of the cold desert region of Ladakh recently.

The police action followed the direction from the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Leh.

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Earlier, the complaints were filed by Press Club Leh and Congress candidate from Ladakh Parliamentary constituency, Rigzin Spalbar last week alleging a violation of the Model Code of Conduct by BJP leaders.

“An FIR has been lodged against the BJP leaders on Court’s directives and investigations have been taken up,” a police official confirmed.

Referring to the complaints, the Court observed, “The instant application is allowed and Station House Officer, Police Station, Leh is permitted to investigate the matter under law.”

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The court observed that the members of the Press Club had lodged a complaint with the Returning Officer/District Election Officer, Leh, in writing alleging that on May 02 some leaders of BJP offered packets containing cash to the media persons at the press conference held at a local hotel.

Leh District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner Avny Lavasa, who had also ordered an inquiry, said they approached the district court through the police on Tuesday to register a first information report in the matter.

In its complaint, the Leh Press Club had alleged that BJP leaders, including Jammu and Kashmir unit President Ravinder Raina, had tried to bribe journalists on Thursday at Hotel Singge Palace in Leh.

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However, Raina said that he would file a defamation case against the Press Club Leh for naming him in the bribery complaint, which he termed as “politically motivated.”

“There will be a probe into it. We will set up a committee to probe the allegation levelled by scribes in Leh,” he said.

Raina said that he is moving an application in Jammu and Kashmir High Court to seek narco-test of the journalists and BJP leaders including him. “If anybody from the party is found involved, he will be dealt severely,” he said.

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