Kamrup SP Partha Sarathi Mahanta and his wife — Assam CID SSP Indrani Baruah – have filed a defamation case amounting to Rs 200 crore (Rs 100 crore each) against a Guwahati-based media group for allegedly publishing and telecasting news that, they alleged, defamed them in public. The media group had alleged that the Kamrup SP and his wife held a closed-door meeting with a group of people involved in illegal dry betel nut (supari) trade at a five-star hotel in Guwahati.
“In response to a news published and telecast in Asomiya Pratidin and Pratidin Time on Aug 8 on alleged illegal supari trade in Baihata Chariali, we registered a suo moto case and sought the cooperation from Asomiya Pratidin. The media group, however, started targeting me and alleged that I and my wife held a meeting with people involved in the illegal supari trade at the Taj Vivanta hotel,” Partha Sarathi Mahanta said.
“I and my wife have, therefore, separately lodged criminal defamation case against Jayanta Baruah, owner of the Pratidin group, at the court of Kamrup CJM. We have also filed two civil defamation cases amounting to Rs 100 crore each – Rs 200 crore in total – against Jayanta Baruah at Kamrup District and Sessions Court,” he added.
The senior police official further challenged the owner of the media group to prove the allegations made against him and his wife and that if the latter does, he is ready to quit his profession. However, if he fails to do so, the Kamrup SP asked the media baron to change his profession.