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Aaj Tak's Sudhir Chaudhary Booked in Karnataka for 'Instigating Communal Hatred'

The case was registered against Chaudhury, Aaj Tak's editor-in-chief, and the 'organiser' of the news channel.

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The Bengaluru Police on Wednesday, 13 September, registered a case against Aaj Tak anchor Sudhir Chaudhary for "spreading false and communally inflammatory news against the Karnataka government" in connection with his show aired on Monday, 11 September.

What happened? Chaudhary, in his show, said that the Karnataka government's commercial vehicle subsidy scheme is leaving out "poor Hindus" and is only meant to "appease minorities" in the state, the First Information Report (FIR) filed at Sheshadripuram police station stated.

What is the case? The case was registered against Chaudhury, Aaj Tak's editor-in-chief, and the 'organiser' of the news channel, the FIR accessed by The Quint further said.

They were booked under Sections 505 (making statements conducting public mischief) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
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Why you need to read on: The FIR was registered based on a complaint by a Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation official who claimed that Chaudhary's statements "instigated hatred to create an atmosphere of unrest and communal riots."

The bone of contention: The scheme in question, called the Swavalambi Sarathi Scheme, gives 50 percent subsidy to people from religious minorities with a household income of less than Rs 4.5 lakh to purchase commercial vehicles, such as taxis, goods vehicles, and autorickshaws.

The benefits can be availed by people belonging to the Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Parsi, Jain, and Buddhist communities.

Karnataka government's response: Earlier, on Tuesday, 12 September, Karnataka Information Technology-Biotechnology Minister Priyank Kharge took to social media platform X to say that Chaudhary was "deliberately spreading misinformation on government schemes which was first started by BJP MPs" and that the government would take "necessary legal action" against the anchor.

The case was registered against Chaudhury, Aaj Tak's editor-in-chief, and the 'organiser' of the news channel.

In response, the Aaj Tak anchor said that the Karnataka government was "preparing for his arrest."

The case was registered against Chaudhury, Aaj Tak's editor-in-chief, and the 'organiser' of the news channel.

There's more: Earlier, several BJP leaders had found fault with an advertisement published in a newspaper regarding the scheme, stating that the Karnataka government was "appeasing minorities."

It may be mentioned that the BJP-led government in Karnataka had a similar scheme which subsidised vehicles for people from minority communities in the state. You can read more about that here.

(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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