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A self-proclaimed traditional medicine practitioner from Assam was booked by the police for his “derogatory” social media post against a woman journalist.

Several media organizations demanded strict action against Pankaj Pathak, against whom a case was registered in Guwahati on July 19.

The accused, who is a member of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an ally of the ruling BJP, has been suspended from the party following the development.

An FIR was registered against Pankaj Pathak, a known face in local television programmes where he prescribes traditional medicines for the treatment of various ailments, after the journalist filed a written complaint against him on July 18.

Police said an investigation has started.

The Gauhati Press Club, in a statement on July 19, requested the Assam Police to take stringent action the accused if found guilty.

“Our attention has been drawn towards an FIR filed by senior television journalist…. wherein she has alleged serious misconduct by Pankaj Pathak, which prima facie amounts to ‘outraging modesty of a woman’,” said a statement issued by the Gauhati Press Club.

“From the screenshots made available to Gauhati Press Club (also attached with the FIR), it appears that Mr Pathak’s had made objectionable social media posts and such conduct was highly unwarranted,” the statement added further.

“The Gauhati Press Club feels that such personal attacks in social media and that too against a woman are in bad taste and demands a thorough investigation into the allegations,” it added.

Multiple reports alleged that Pathak has also made several ‘lewd’ remarks on women in general on social media. A news story on the same led to the accused attacking a male journalist and later his wife, who also is a journalist, reports said.

“He then dragged my name into the accusations and started character assassination, making lewd comments. I am under extreme mental duress and want the person to be arrested and prosecuted as per law,” the woman journalist who works for a local channel, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

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