The Uttar Pradesh Police has filed a first information report against The Wires Founding Editor Siddharth Varadarajan for tweeting an article published on the news website reporting that the farmer who was killed during a tractor rally on Republic Day had died in police firing.
The article, published on Friday, cited the family of Navreet Singh. They rejected the Delhi Polices claims that he had died after his tractor overturned. The family has alleged that the man was shot.
A case under Indian Penal Code Sections 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505(2) (statements conducing to public mischief) has been filed in the states Rampur district.
On Saturday evening, the Rampur district magistrate responded to Varadarajans tweet. We ardently request you to please lets be sticking to facts and facts only, he wrote. We hope our request will be sincerely taken up by you.
Varadarajan on Sunday morning reacted to the FIR registered against him. Whats the IPC [Indian Penal Code] provision for malicious prosecution, he asked. 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!
In a separate tweet, the journalist wrote: 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.