BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent

PUNE:  Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol, has denied tapping  phones of electronic and print media journalists, who were covering Pune Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh’s land scam stories. Pol who addressed the annual crime review conference at Police Commissionerate, said that police did not tap phones of media persons and will never do it. “We respect the fourth estate as honour them for bringing out stories in public interest. We cannot doubt the integrity of media persons and give respect to the work being carried out by the media,” he added.

Pune’s divisional commissioner, IAS officer Prabhakar Deshmukh, who has allegedly amassed huge properties by twisting rules and laws to benefit himself and his family had allegedly got call data records of all those media persons who have written against him and also of TV journalists to find out who they have been speaking to for getting info from the Govt. offices.

The commissioner using his discretionary powers has obtained call data records of journalists, government officials and RTI activists to find the source of the stories that have been appearing about his wealth. Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister and NCP strongman Ajit Pawar blew the lid when in a Press conference at the divisional commissioner’s office a few weeks ago disclosed that he has been getting calls from tehsildars and Govt. officials complaining that their calls are being tracked.

“This is a very serious matter,” Pawar admitted. Civil rights activists and media persons have said they will take up the matter by filing a public interest litigation in the court. The   Association of Electronic Media (AEM), Pune has also expressed  shock and anguish over the snooping of media persons and is planning to take recourse to legal remedy to find out the truth.

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