Case against Rajdeep Sardesai, 7 others for trying to provoke a riot on R-Day
Delhi Police on Thursday filed a case against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and six others for allegedly trying to start a riot on Republic Day, among other sections.
Others named in the FIR include Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor,and journalists Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath, Vinod K Jose. The case filed at the IP Estate police station has been registered under Indian Penal Code sections of 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 505(1)(b) (intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
Police in Gurugram, Bhopal and Noida have also filed similar cases against the seven for allegedly misreporting and spreading disharmony during the violent clashes in Delhi on Republic Day. On Friday, the Editors Guild of India condemned the police action, saying it was an attempt to “browbeat” and “intimidate” the media.
Deputy commissioner of police (central) Jasmeet Singh tweeted though his verified Twitter handle that due to false and misleading information that a farmer had died due to police firing on Republic Day, a case has been registered. Singh said that the post mortem report in the farmer’s case regarded the cause of death to be shock and haemorrhage due to a head injury received, after his tractor overturned.
Also, on Saturday evening, Mandeep Punia, a freelance journalist who contributes to The Caravan magazine, was detained at Alipur police station while he was reporting the farmers sit-in protest. Though, no senior police officer wished to comment on journalist Punia’s detention, his friends alleged he had been arrested.
A police officer, who did not wish to be named, said Punia was not carrying any identity card. “He was part of a group of protesters who were pulling down the police barricades. Mild use of force was done during which he was caught. A case under section 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) has been registered against him at Alipur police station, He is likely to be arrested in the case. There was another journalist with him. He had an identity card. We are verifying his identity,” a police officer said on Saturday evening.
A group of 200 persons, who claimed to be locals, had on Friday crossed barricades and gone near the main stage of protesting farmers, which resulted in a clash between the two groups. Police after that stopped entry of anyone beyond the barricades that have come up on the main road at Singhu.