Scroll’s Supriya Sharma Booked for Report on PM’s Adopted Village
The FIR was filed after a resident of the village filed a complaint alleging her statements were misrepresented.
The Uttar Pradesh police registered an FIR against Supriya Sharma, the Executive Editor of Scroll.in for allegedly misrepresenting facts in a report on the effects of lockdown in a Varanasi village adopted by PM Modi under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
The FIR was filed after a resident of Varanasi’s Domari village, Mala, filed a complaint alleging that her statements were misrepresented and that she and her family did not go hungry during the lockdown.
According to Scroll.in, Sharma had interviewed Mala as part of a series from Varanasi district on the impact of the lockdown.
In the interview, Mala reportedly told Scroll.in that she was a domestic worker and experienced food distress during the lockdown since she did not have a ration card.
However, in the complaint, Mala alleged that she is not a domestic worker but worked as a sanitation worker at the Varanasi city municipality through “outsourcing”.
“By saying that my children and I went hungry, Supriya Sharma had made fun of my poverty and caste. It has affected me psychologically and has brought disrepute upon me socially,” Mala is quoted in the FIR as saying.
She said that her family suffered no hardships during the lockdown and even her mother, who previously worked as a sanitation worker, did get her pension.
The case has been filed under Sections 501 (defamatory matter) and Section 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and sections related to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. on the Indian Penal Code.
The police have also named Scroll.in’s editor-in-chief in the FIR.
'Attempt to Intimidate & Silence Independent Journalism'
The news portal issued a statement in the matter and said that no fact has been misrepresented and that it stands by the report.
“Scroll.in interviewed Mala in Domari village, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on June 5, 2020. Her statements have accurately been reported in the article titled, ‘In Varanasi village adopted by Prime Minister Modi, people went hungry during the lockdown.’ Scroll.in stands by the article, which has been reported from the Prime Minister’s constituency. This FIR is an attempt to intimidate and silence independent journalism, reporting on conditions of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 lockdown.”
After Scroll.in's statement, Sharma took to Twitter to thank those who have stood by her.
Earlier, an FIR was also booked against senior journalist Vinod Dua on a complaint of BJP leader.
(With inputs from Scroll.in)
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