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Editor of web portal detained over Dutee Chand's complaint of obscene content

The editor of an online news channel was detained over allegations by noted sprinter Dutee Chand that he had published obscene photos of her

Dutee Chand

Dutee Chand



Updated: 4 Sep 2021 6:01 AM GMT

The editor of an online news channel was detained in Bhubaneswar on Friday over allegations by noted sprinter Dutee Chand that he had published obscene photos of her, besides attempting extortion, police said. The editor was apprehended from his office in Jharpada area, Deputy Commissioner of Police US Dash told reporters. He is accused of publishing defamatory and obscene content against the athlete, he said.

"Police have detained web channel editor Sudhanshu Sekhar Raut. We have also seized computers and other material from the accused. We are investigating the complaint. The accused editor is being questioned," the officer said. A case was registered under various IPC sections, including 292-2 (obscene and indecent publication), 354-A (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation), 385 (putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), he said.

"The false and obscene portrayal of me on social media and web portal have tarnished my image which ultimately impacted my performance in the Olympics. I do not know what harm I have done to these people," Chand, who too recorded her statement with the police, said. The ace sprinter has also accused Pradip Pradhan, an RTI activist, of mental harassment and criminal intimidation. "Pradhan will also be questioned as his name also figured in the FIR," the police officer said.

Rout and Pradhan could not immediately be reached for comments. The name of another journalist of the channel was also included in the FIR. In her complaint, Chand alleged that a senior journalist of the channel demanded money from her for not airing an interview in which her family members reportedly spoke about their personal issues with her. Chand also moved court over the matter and filed a defamation case, making eight persons and organisations as parties, including the web portal editor, Facebook and Google.

The court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Bhubaneswar restrained the portal and the editor from circulating defamatory news against her. The next date of hearing is on September 15. The incident came close on the heels of the Supreme Court expressing concern over web portals and YouTube channels. On August 27, a woman journalist of a web portal and four others were arrested by Nandankanan police station on charge of kidnapping and extortion. In Malkangiri district, five persons, including a local journalist, were arrested on July 15 on the charge of extortion of Rs 8 lakh from a government official.

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