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FIR Against The Wire Editor & Journo for Story on Farmer’s Death

Varadarajan had shared an article quoting a member of the deceased youth’s family who said he died in police firing.

Updated
India
3 min read
Founding editor of The Wire Siddharth Varadarajan. 
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The Uttar Pradesh Police filed an FIR against The Wire’s Founding Editor Siddharth Varadarajan, on 31 January, Saturday for tweeting an article published by the news website on the farmer who died during the Republic Day mayhem.

Mr Varadarajan had shared the article with a direct quote by Hardeep Singh Dibdiba —the deceased youth’s grandfather.

UP Police said they have also added the website The Wire.In and reporter Ismat Ara’s name in the same FIR as the story had her byline.

FIR Against  The Wire Editor & Journo for Story on Farmer’s Death

Responding to his tweet, the Rampur district magistrate, on 30 January wrote, “We ardently request you to please let’s be sticking to facts and facts only,” he wrote. “We hope our request will be sincerely taken up by you.”

He also shared a copy of the official declaration by the three doctors who had carried out Navreet Singh’s autopsy saying the report’s quotes were false.

FIR Against  The Wire Editor & Journo for Story on Farmer’s Death
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What Does The Post Mortem Report Say?

According to a copy of the post mortem report available with The Quint, Navreet Singh died of “haemorrhage as a result” of “ante-mortem head injury”.

The Delhi Police had released a video footage purportedly showing Singh’s tractor hitting a barricade and flipping over, however, protesters have counter-alleged that Singh lost control of his vehicle only after being shot.

FIR Against Varadarajan & Ismat Ara

According to copy of the FIR, Varadarjan and Ara have been charged under Sections 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505(2) (statements conducing to public mischief) of the PIC has been filed in UP’s Rampur district.

As per The Print, the FIR was filed on a complaint by one Sanju Turaha, a resident of Rampur district.

  • Copy of FIR against The Wire’s Editor Siddharth Varadarajan.
  • Copy of FIR against The Wire’s Editor Siddharth Varadarajan.

Soon after the FIR was filed against him, Mr Varadarajan wrote on Twitter, “In UP, it is a crime for media to report statements of relatives of a dead person if they question a postmortem or police version of cause of death.”

“What’s the IPC provision for “malicious prosecution”?” he asked, adding, “Here is the UP Police indulging in it, filing an FIR against me for tweeting about what the grandfather of farmer who was killed in the tractor parade had said on the record!”

FIR Against  The Wire Editor & Journo for Story on Farmer’s Death
FIR Against  The Wire Editor & Journo for Story on Farmer’s Death
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Navreet Singh’s Death At The Centre of Several FIRs

Besides Varadajan, India Today’s journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also have cases against them by the Delhi Police, for blaming Singh’s death on a police firing.

Earlier, Tharoor, Sardesai and another journalist Mrinal Pande were also booked by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradeshin similar cases.

Pande of National Herald, along with Zafar Aga of Qaumi Awaz and Paresh Nath and Vinod K Jose of The Caravan too have been named in the FIR filed by the Gurugram Cyber Cell.

(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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