for instigating riot in Red Fort by spreading fake news
When violence was unleashed on India’s capital Delhi on India’s Republic Day 2021, 26 January, the whole world was shocked and watched every frame of it on digital media. Little did anyone know what to expect from Rajdeep Sardesai that day.
With a couple of friends and family, I was glued to my smart television flicking channels between Aaj Tak, NDTV and Republic. Horrified as we all were, we saw how police were on the receiving end while thugs attacked Delhi, practically killing the farmers’ protest on the day – without poor farmers even realizing.
One young man – whose name was announced to be Navneet had died when his tractor overturned at ITO. He lay dead while some other who were close by flocked to the spot. We were all saddened and hoped nothing further goes wrong.
As we flicked channels to know more about the death and curious to know what was happening at Red Fort, we saw many reporters covering the death of Navneet, no one claimed anything other than the accidental overturing of his tractor.
Switching to Aaj Tak, we suddenly saw Rajdeep Sardesai appeared with full gear of a reporter and told on camera that he had been shown two bullet wounds on the body of Navneet and added that he had been shot dead.
Rajdeep later allegedly tweeted the same fake news which was allegedly promoted on twitter by many including Shashi Tharoor. Understandably those alleged tweets have now disappeared.
In may view Tharoor’s erudition is being wasted in Machiavellian moves and it is about time he faces the music. But he was not the biggest a—hole in this, it was Rajdeep Sardesai decorated by Tharoor’s party with Padma Shri in 2008.
Clearly, Rajdeep’s journalism skills have been recorded on camera. He should be stripped off the Padma Shri award and put behind bars in what was clearly a seditious act against the Union of India.
Rightly, the UP Police has lodged an FIR against many miscreants – politicians and journalists – for sharing fake news during the tractor rally in Delhi on 26th January.
The FIR under the section 154 of CrPC has been lodged at the Noida sector 20 police station.
The FIR names Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, India Today journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, National Herald’s Senior consulting editor Mrinal Pandey, Quami Awaz editor Zafar Agha, Caravan magazine’s editor and founder Paresh Nath, Caravan editor Anant Nath and its executive editor Vinod K Jose, and one unnamed person.
BT understands all of them have been booked for spreading the fake news that Navneet was shot dead by Delhi Police during the tractor rally on Republic Day.
The website Opindia.com said “Rajdeep Sardesai had tweeted the fake news on Twitter, and later had repeated the same on India Today, claiming that bullet injury was seen on the head of the deceased.
“Shashi Tharoor and others named in the FIR had also circulated the fake news, which had instigated the protestors to indulge in violence.”
Another publication which also spread the fake news was the publication called The Caravan. It claimed “An eyewitness told The Caravan that he saw the police firing from behind the grills of the Andhra Education Society.” They had also reported that eyewitnesses said they saw police personnel fleeing from the spot after Navneet was shot.
While most subsequently deleted their social media posts after it emerged that Navneet had died after his tractor had overturned while he was attempting a stunt, the tweets of Caravan still remain.
BREAKING | Updates on the killing of #farmer Navneet Singh at ITO:
An eyewitness told The Caravan that he saw the police firing from behind the grills of the Andhra Education Society. A group of police officials led by ACP HSP Singh have taken charge of the CCTV footage. pic.twitter.com/jNPpTUtMje
— The Caravan (@thecaravanindia) January 26, 2021
The FIR says that the named accused persons are responsible for the riots on 26th January, as it was instigated by their digital media posts.
The FIR says the accused persons circulated fake news in a coordinated and well-planned manner that police have shot a person dead in a clear attempt to obscure the fact there had been a large scale attack on the police causing injuries to hundreds of policemen.
Noida police registered an FIR against Congress MP Shashi tharoor & 6 Journalists including Rajdeep Sardesai & Mrinal Pandey for promoting disharmony & intention to hurt religious feelings on social media.@ThePrintIndia @ThePrintHindi pic.twitter.com/b6tviWz1tB
— Prashant Srivastava (@Prashantps100) January 28, 2021
‘It was done deliberately so that it cases a large-scale riot and communal violence among various communities’, the FIR alleges.
The UP police claim the accused knowingly circulated fake news for their political benefits and to instigate the protestors for violence.
‘Due to their tweets, the protestors reached the Red Fort and hoisted religious and other flags in the place of national flag’, the FIR notes.
Some observers believe miscreants wanted Jalianwala bagh-2 hoping police will not take violence without returning fire. The government had clear plans not to fall into their trap. Delhi police showed a remarkable show of control, discipline and nationalist spirit.
Through the FIR, charges under sections 153(A), 153(B), 295(A), 298, 506, 505(2), 124(A)/34/120(B) of the Indian Penal Code, and under section 66 of the Information Technology act.
Miscreants have done colossal damage to farmers’ cause in addition to creating anarchy in Delhi.