Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai and five other journalists including Mrinal Pande, Vinod Jose, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath and Anant Nath were booked for sedition by Noida Police on Thursday, 28 January. The FIR stated that they shared misinformed news and ‘instigated violence’ on 26 January.
Following a complaint by a resident who alleged that ‘digital broadcast’ and ‘social media posts’ by the accused promoted the violence in Delhi, the FIR was filed by Arpit Mishra at the Sector 20 police station, under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Besides National Herald’s consulting editor Mrinal Pande, Qaumi Awaz editor Afar Agha and The Caravan’s Paresh Nath, Anant Nath and Vinod Jose, an unidentified person has also been named in the FIR.
On Friday, a similar FIR was registered in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal against the Congress MP and other senior journalists for posting “defamatory, false & instigating” tweets which falsely accused the Delhi Police of murdering of a person, ANI reported.
The FIR in Uttar Pradesh has been lodged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 298 (utterings, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120B (criminal conspiracy), as well as section 66 of the Information Technology Act among others.
According to officials, investigations in the matter are already underway, PTI reported.
On 26 January, amid a rally demonstrating against the BJP government’s three farm laws, clashes broke out between the protesters and the police in the national capital.
The violence at Red Fort and ITO led to hundreds of police personnel getting injured, and a farmer dying due to his tractor overturning. The accused have been booked for tweeting about the farmer and insinuating that he was shot at by the Delhi Police.
(With inputs from PTI)