The Delhi Police on Monday, 4 April, registered an First Information Report (FIR) against journalists over tweets about a 'Hindu Mahapanchayat' in Delhi's Burari on Sunday, where several journalists were allegedly assaulted by a Hindu mob.
An FIR under Section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against some Twitter handles for "content which could incite enmity, hatred, and ill-will between two communal groups," Deputy Police Commissioner (Northwest) Usha Rangnani told Hindustan Times (HT).
The FIR has reportedly been filed against two tweets – one by journalist Meer Faisal, who was among those who were allegedly assaulted by a mob, and another by the news portal Article 14.
This is the fourth FIR registered in connection with the controversy.
Rangnani had earlier said that due legal action would be taken against those who were spreading misinformation on social media.
The Tweets in Question
According to IANS, one of the posts was made by news portal Article 14, which said: "5 journalists, 4 of them Muslim, 1 on assignment for @Article14live, have been taken by police to the Mukherji Nagar police station in Delhi after a mob at #Hindu #dharamsansad (for which the police had declined permission) discovered their religion, attacked them & deleted videos [sic]."
Another tweet is by journalist Meer Faisal, which said: "I and @mdmeharban03 were beaten up because of our muslim identity by Hindu mob. Communal slurs were shouted on me at Hindu mahapanchayat at Burari ground in New Delhi. We had gone there to cover the event. We were called jihadis and attacked for being Muslims [sic]."
3 Other FIRs in the Case
In the first FIR registered over hate speech, the organisers of the event, priest Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati and chief editor of Sudarshan News Suresh Chavhanke have been named, along with several other speakers of the assembly.
Another FIR under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC was registered in a case involving Newslaundry reporters Shivangi Saxena and Ronak Bhat.
In the other incident, two journalists – Md Meherban and Meer Faisal – were beaten up and The Quint's principal correspondent Meghnad Bose was manhandled by a mob.
A third FIR was filed under IPC Sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) in this incident, as per the police.
The police had whisked five journalists away from the event at around 1:30 pm and had taken them to the Mukherjee Nagar police station.