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Lovlina Hoardings: Case Against Assam News Portal After DIPR Claims Fake News

Minister Pijush Hazarika claimed that neither he nor the DIPR had anything to do with the hoardings.

Published
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Banners in Guwahati to congratulate Lovlina Borgohain where the boxer was nowhere to be seen.</p></div>
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The Assam Police has registered a case against a Guwahati-based news portal The CrossCurrent, after the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) claimed that the website aired “fake news” about hoardings that wished Olympian boxer Lovlina Borgohain and congratulated her for qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

The DIPR claimed that the "fake news" was aired in order to “malign the image of the Minister of Information and Public Relations, Pijush Hazarika and the department in public eye”, The Indian Express reported.

The four-minute clip shared by The CrossCurrent was titled ‘Was Pijush Hazarika admonished for trying to flatter Himanta Biswa Sarma?’ However, the video is no longer available.

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'Just Raised Some Questions'

Gautam Gogoi, the website's editor, was quoted as saying:

“Usually the DIPR makes such hoardings. So we just raised some questions asking if they installed it, and if they had not, who had approved it? We also asked if Pijush Hazarika’s, who is the Minister of the Information and Public Relations, need to impress Himanta Biswa Sarma had backfired… since the latter said he did not approve of the hoarding.”

Case Filed Against the Portal

Requesting appropriate legal action, the director of DIPR filed a complaint to Dispur Police Station in Guwahati on Friday, 6 August, against the web portal for “dissemination of completely false and fabricated information designed to malign the images of innocent persons”.

A case was registered under Sections 294A/500/505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 45A of the Information Technology Act on Friday, The Indian Express reported.

The Assamese news website The CrossCurrent had reportedly questioned the use of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s photos on multiple hoardings that were put up in Guwahati.

The Hoardings in Question

Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain won the bronze medal in the women's boxing welterweight category at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. This was her debut at the Olympics.

But before Lovlina won the medal, a few banners were put up that wished her luck for her upcoming games. There was one catch, though. The banners were for Lovlina, but she was nowhere to be seen on them, which enraged several netizens.

The hoardings read, “Congratulations and best wishes to Lovlina Borgohain for qualifying for Tokyo Olympic 2020” and “You are the pride of Assam”, however, it had large images of Sarma instead of Borgohain’s photo.

CM, DIPR Distance Themselves From the Hoardings

Saying that he did not endorse such kind of branding, Sarma tweeted:

Meanwhile, Pijush Hazarika claimed that neither he nor the DIPR had anything to do with the hoardings.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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