10/04/2017 9:23 AM IST | Updated 10/04/2017 9:25 AM IST

Army 'Buddy System' Sting: FIR Against Journalist Unfair, Says Editors Guild Of India

"It is akin to shooting the messenger and is a direct threat to the freedom of press."

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NEW DELHI -- The Editors Guild of India on Sunday said that the case against Poonam Agarwal under the stringent Official Secrets Act for carrying out a sting on the abuse of the 'buddy' system in the army, "unfair and unjustified".

"It was akin to shooting the messenger and was a direct threat to the freedom of the press," the Guild said in a release.

It said the report was done in the public interest and exposing the misuse of jawans by their seniors could hardly be construed as violating the OSA.

"The Guild opined that to book the Quint reporter under the draconian provisions of the Official Secrets Act is unfair and unjustified," the release said.

The Nashik police have registered the case against Agarwal under Sections 3 (spying) and 7 (interfering with officers of the police or members of the armed forces of Union) of the OSA after a complaint from army officials.

Agarwal is accused of entering Heig Lines in Deolali camp without the permission of the authorities and filming the premises, besides carrying out a sting operation on Roy Mathew and other jawans on February 24.

Mathew (33) was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in an abandoned barrack in Deolali cantonment on March 2.

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