Delhi cops search 'The Wire' editors' homes, seize electronic devices: Report | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Delhi cops search 'The Wire' editors' homes, seize electronic devices: Report

By, New Delhi
Oct 31, 2022 08:31 PM IST

Delhi Police crime branch searched the residence of 'The Wire' founder Siddharth Varadarajan.

The Delhi Police are searching the residence of two editors of ‘The Wire’ in connection with an FIR registered against the portal based on a complaint by BJP's IT-cell head Amit Malviya, a senior police officer said on Monday.

The Wire founder Siddharth Varadarajan.(File)
The Wire founder Siddharth Varadarajan.(File)

The police have seized electronic devices (mobiles and laptops) from the residences of The Wire founder Siddharth Varadarajan and its editor MK Venu and others. “No notice has been given to anyone and no inquiry has taken place on Monday. Further investigation is going on and necessary steps will be taken,” news agency ANI quoted the Delhi Police as saying.

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ANI's earlier visuals showed Delhi Police crime branch officials outside the residence of Siddharth Varadarajan.

On Saturday, the Delhi Police had registered an FIR against the news portal and four of its journalists on a complaint by Malviya accusing them of “cheating” and “forgery”.

The FIR has been filed by the crime branch of the Delhi police under sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery with purpose of cheating), 469 (forgery for harming reputation), 471 (using a forged document as genuine), 500 (defamation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), officers said.

The four senior journalists named in the FIR are Siddharth Varadarajan, MK Venu, Sidharth Bhatia and Jahnavi Sen, a Delhi Police spokesperson said.

Malviya, in his complaint to the police, said that the news portal in a report published on October 10 claimed that he was part of a special group called ‘X Check-List on Meta’.

The report claimed that the group allowed Malviya special privileges to take down content on its Instagram service, he said in his complaint, adding that the report blamed him for using these privileges to take down at least 705 posts.

“My role requires me to vociferously advocate the BJP’s point of view on national issues across platforms... However, The Wire’s stories have vitiated the atmosphere and severely dented relationships and trust built over years in order for me to carry out the functions of my responsibility,” Malviya said in a statement earlier, adding that he was “left with no option other than to seek appropriate legal remedies against The Wire and its management/reporters.”

The Wire, shortly after Malviya first made his intention to pursue criminal and civil charges known on Thursday, said its journalists rely on sources for stories and “do their best to verify material they receive”.

The Wire has said it is carrying out an internal investigation and is yet to disclose any further details.

The news website accused one of its former staffers of using fake documents as evidence of a story in order to damage its reputation, police officials said on Sunday, adding that they were looking into the matter before a decision on whether to file an FIR.

“The complaint has been received against one Devesh Kumar in connection with all the Meta stories that were published by the platform this month and we are examining it,” a crime branch officer said, adding that the complaint was sent over email.

The Wire and Kumar did not offer a comment when reached by HT.

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