Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

This is the third time a media person has complained of intimidation by authorities


In another instance of muzzling the media, Uttar Pradesh police booked Millat Times Editor Shams Tabrez Qasmi on June 6, 2022 for posting visuals of Kanpur violence on Twitter, reported Maktoob Media. In a tweet, Qasmi said that the charges against him are baseless and will not deter him from doing journalism.

On Monday, Qasmi faced an FIR accusing the journalist of criminal intimidation and statements leading to public mischief for sharing videos of violence in Kanpur on June 3. At least six persons were injured on Friday when a Muslim organisation called to shut down shops at the Parade Market over the comments made about Prophet Mohammed by BJP leader Nupur Sharm on TV. According to a syndicated feed, the State Police booked 500 people for rioting on Saturday. Meanwhile, Maktoob Media said the clashes began when Hindu groups hurled stones at protesting Muslims.

Qasmi on his part shared the video on social media. For this, the police accused him of spreading provocative and fake news. On receiving the FIR, he declared that the police was – unsuccessfully – trying to silence him.

The news has garnered sympathies for Qasmi within a short amount of time from the journalistic community.


Similarly, Maktoob said Muslim groups and rights activists called the police action “discriminatory”. The news comes days after Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair received his fifth or sixth FIR from the Uttar Pradesh police. Zubair faced charges of “hurting religious sentiments” by referring to Yati Narsinghanand, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swarup as “hatemongers” in his tweet.

Similarly, Katni’s local journalist Ravi Gupta in Madhya Pradesh on May 27 accused local BJP MLA and former Minister Sanjay Pathak of kidnapping, thrashing and threatening his family members with sexual assault. According to Gupta, the MLA’s goons forced him into a car and took him to a local restaurant. Worse still, he claimed the police discouraged him from filing a formal complaint.

While such attacks continue on the media community in India, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directs the UP Director general of police (DGP) to invoke the Gangster Act and National Security Act (NSA) against “trouble makers”. The Maktoob Media reports that at least 36 Muslims were booked under the draconian NSA in Kanpur.


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