Delhi, Gurugram police file FIR against Tharoor, senior scribes

They have been charged with sedition, promoting enmity, criminal conspiracy

January 31, 2021 12:54 am | Updated 12:54 am IST - new delhi/GURUGRAM

According to the FIRs, the accused posted “instigating” tweets and circulated “fake news” regarding the violence during the tractor rally on Republic Day.

According to the FIRs, the accused posted “instigating” tweets and circulated “fake news” regarding the violence during the tractor rally on Republic Day.

Delhi Police and Gurugram Police have lodged FIRs against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and six senior journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai and Mrinal Pande, on charges of sedition, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy, for posting “malafide, defamatory, false and misleading” tweets accusing the Delhi police of killing a farmer during the tractor parade on Republic Day.

In Delhi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Jasmeet Singh said a complaint was received at IP Estate police station. Based on the complaint, a case under Indian Penal Code sections 153, 504, 505(1)(b), and 120 B was lodged and investigation is underway, said Mr. Singh.

In Gurugram, the FIR was registered under Sections 120B, 124A, 153A, 153B and 505 (2) of the IPC at the Cyber Crime police station. It also names Quami Awaz’s Zafar Agha and The Caravan’s Paresh Nath, Anant Nath and Vinod K. Jose.

According to the FIRs, the accused posted instigating tweets and deliberately circulated fake news falsely accusing the Delhi police of the murder of a person driving a tractor during the violence on Republic Day.

‘Well-timed conspiracy’

The FIRs claim that the accused, in a co-ordinated and well-timed conspiracy, started misinformation campaign that it was the Delhi Police that shot a protesting farmer.

“This was clearly done with an intent to engineer large-scale riots and religious tension among different communities. This particularly assumes much significance as the ramifications of such riots and religious tensions would affect a sensitive state sharing international border. The accused persons have deliberately, without any authentication, fact-checking and verifying purposefully posted fake, misleading and wrong information to instigate violence amongst the protesters, the farmers community in general and to add fuel to fire in the current protest for their own political and personal advantage,” read the FIR lodged by Gurugram Police.

The FIR filed by Delhi Police stated that the accused, through their “fake, misleading and wrong” tweets “tried to imply that the death of the farmer was caused by the violence committed by Delhi Police under directions of the Central government.

The police said that tweets by the accused were re-tweeted by other that can “cause mutiny among the ranks of ignorant people, causing panic and violent rebellion, thereby inducing citizens to commit offences against the State or against the public tranquility”.

Meanwhile, a Delhi spokesperson said on Saturday that a total of 38 cases have been registered till now in the farmers’ rally incident and 84 persons have been arrested so far.

Reporter detained

In a late development, Mandeep Punia, a reporter contributing to The Caravan , was detained by the police on Saturday. Details on the reasons were awaited till the time of going to press.

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