In a massive reprieve for Republic TV, crew members - reporter Anuj Kumar, video journalist Yashpaljit Singh, and Ola cab driver Pradeep Dilip Dhanavade on Monday, were granted bail by a Khalapur court. The crew was held by the Maharashtra police in custody at Karjat for 138 hours after being 'illegally' detained and charged with 'trespassing' on Wednesday morning. The court has levied a small bail bond for their release and has imposed no restriction on the team's travel.
Earlier in the day, the National Human Rights Commission registered a case in New Delhi on the complaint filed by Republic Media Network regarding the violation committed by the Maharashtra police by the crew's illegal detainment. In the media house's plea to the NHRC, it highlighted Maharashtra police's malafide move. Anuj was being interrogated in police custody at Karjat - asking him to reveal his sources, lead and the story he was pursuing. Anuj was also been denied legal representation, which has prompted Republic TV to move the Bombay High Court if needed, while petitioning to the NHRC.
On Tuesday night, Anuj Kumar along with VJ Yashpaljit Singh and their Ola driver Pradeep Dilip Dhanavade had travelled to Karjat following a lead of an investigative story. In the wee hours of Wednesday, Maharashtra police detained all three to a four-day custody.
Furthermore, Republic was not given a remand copy by the Maharashtra police, hindering our efforts to seek our team's bail. Anuj and his colleagues have been denied legal representation. Apart from petitioning NHRC seeking Anuj and his colleagues' immediate release, Republic Media Network has also moved the Bombay High Court as a Shiv Sena body seeks blocking the channel's broadcast.