In a surprise move, police has arrested a journalist in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for asking questions related to deadly coronavirus. According to reports, journalist Zubair Ahmed was arrested reportedly after asked why families who spoke coronavirus patients over the phone were being home quarantined.
“Can someone explain why families are placed under home quarantine for speaking over phone with Covid patients?” Ahmed had tweeted.
Ahmed had earlier reported that a family in Andaman’s Haddo town was home quarantined after one of the members spoke to a relative – who had tested positive for COVID-19 – over the phone.
This tweet apparently didn’t go down very well with the authorities and he was called to the Bambooflat police station from where he was taken to Aberdeen police station.
Zubair Ahmed formally worked with Andaman Chronicle and nowadays was working as a freelance journalist.
According to Andaman Chronicle editor-in-chief Denis Giles, Ahmed was picked up by from his home by four people of Bambooflat police station. They told Ahmed that Superintendent of Police (SP) wanted to ask some questions related to his tweet.
“Zubair called me and told me that he had been picked up by the police. A special ferry was arranged to take him to the police station (ferries have been stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak). I, however, felt suspicious and asked him to clarify why he was being taken. I heard him speak to someone, and after that, I was not able to get in touch with him, all calls were getting forwarded. An hour later we found he had been arrested,” Denis was quoted as saying by The News Minute.
According to the report, the journalist has been booked under Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and sections 188, 269, 270, 505(1)(b). He was later booked under Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.