Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: In yet another instance of police excess against OTV, another official of Odisha’s leading news channel was picked up forcibly by a posse of police personnel, who woke him up from sleep at 3.30 am on Tuesday, after barging into the channel’s studio campus at Sarua in Khurdha.

A team of around 15 to 20 police personnel scaled the boundary walls of the studio and whisked away Anirudhha Panda, the site in-charge of Sarua studio. The police team broke open the door of the room in which Panda was sleeping and treated him like a habitual offender before dragging him out, informed Halim, a fellow staff at the studio.

The police action is reportedly in connection with a previous case, Halim said as quoting the police.

"At around 3 am, I woke up to the noise when police broke the iron grills and door of Panda’s room. I ran to enquire. Later, I found around 15-20 policemen forcibly whisking Panda away as if he is a hardened criminal. I immediately called up the inspector in-charge of the concerned police station who said the action was based on an old case", Halim added.

Panda had earlier appeared before police on multiple occasions and cooperated with the investigation.

Earlier, OTV's senior correspondent Ramesh Rath and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Manoranjan Sarangi were picked up in a similar manner in two separate cases.

It is worth mentioning here that so far four employees of OTV have been arrested by the police in 20 cases that were made out against the media house in what is widely believed to be a diabolic conspiracy to muzzle freedom of press by a repressive regime in the state.

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