UP Police have registered an FIR against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pandey, Zafar Agha of Kaumi Awaz, Mrinal Pande of National Herald, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath and Vinod K. Jose editors of Caravan Magazine, for spreading fake news and for provoking violence by tweeting that the police had fired at a protester causing his death.
The FIR registered at Gautambudh Nagar police station, Noida has invoked section 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (Imputation, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 298 (Uttering words to wound religious feelings), 504 (Intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 505(2) (public mischief) 124A (sedition), 34 (common intention), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC as well as section 65 of the Information Technology Act.
The FIR states that the actions of the accused put the security of the nation and its people in grave danger and that their tweets were a conspiracy to cause pre-planned violence in the capital. It further states that from their Twitter handles, the accused intentionally posted that the police shot at one protestor leading to his death to create communal disharmony. It is also alleged that their tweets provoked protesters which led them to the red Fort, unfurling religious flags where the Indian flag was hoisted. The FIR also states that the tweets were shared widely on social media creating anti-government sentiments among people.
The 24-year-old Navneet Singh’s post mortem reportedly shows that he died due to impact on his skull.
Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting Editor with India Today, has been taken off air for two weeks and a month’s salary deducted by the channel for his tweet which he deleted later. He subsequently tweeted a video saying, “While the farm protesters claim that the deceased Navneet Singh was shot at by Delhi Police while on a tractor, this video clearly shows that the tractor overturned while trying to break the police barricades. The farm protesters allegations don’t stand. Post mortem awaited.”
While the farm protestors claim that the deceased Navneet Singh was shot at by Delhi police while on a tractor, this video clearly shows that the tractor overturned while trying to break the police barricades. The farm protestors allegations don’t stand. Post mortem awaited.? pic.twitter.com/JnuU05psgR
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) January 26, 2021
His tweet continued, “The police have shown great restraint despite grave provocation by the farm protesters in ITO/Red Fort area: they fired tear gas, no evidence of bullets fired although farm protestors claimed otherwise. Amidst claims and counter claims, the police action needs to be commended”.
The farmers tractor rally on Republic Day went awry as external elements infiltrated the rally and indulged in lawlessness and as police attacked protesters with lathis and tear gas shells.