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Tharoor and six journos now face FIRs in 5 states | India News

NEW DELHI/GURGAON/NOIDA/BENGALURU: A day after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and six senior journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai, were booked for sedition and other crimes at Noida’s Sector 20 police station, similar FIRs with same charges were registered against them in Gurgaon and Bengaluru on Friday.
On Thursday, the Noida police had filed FIR against Tharoor, Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath, Vinod K Jose and ‘others’ under charges of sedition, promoting enmity and other sections of IPC for “broadcasting and tweeting misleading news” about a protester who died in an accident after a tractor overturned during farmers’ protests that turned violent on Republic Day in Delhi.
On Friday, the seven were booked for the same charges, including sedition, on the basis of complaints at Cyber police station in Gurgaon and Parappana Agrahara police station in Bengaluru. Another FIR — minus the sedition charge— was filed against them at IP Estate police station in Delhi on Friday. With this, FIRs against the seven accused have been filed at police stations across four states and one Union territory since Thursday — Delhi, UP, Karnataka, Haryana and MP.
The Delhi FIR, a copy of which is with TOI, was filed on the complaint of Chiranjiv Kumar, a resident of Mata Sundri Road. The FIR invokes IPC sections of criminal conspiracy, provoking people with intent to cause riot, provocation to break public peace and fear or alarm to the public. It stated that the accused had “deliberately and without any authentication, fact-checking and verification, purposefully posted fake, misleading and wrong information to instigate the protesters and to add fuel to fire for their own political and personal advantage”.
At Cyber police station in Gurgaon, an FIR was filed identical to the one filed in Noida’s Sector 20 police station. The complainant from Gurgaon was a 34-year-old private executive, Pankaj Singh. “Other than IPC Section 124A (sedition), the other sections invoked are 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505(2) (statements promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes),” said ACP (DLF) Karan Goyal.
In Bengaluru, the FIR was filed after a complaint by one Rakesh BS, 37, an employee with a private firm. Rakesh said in his complaint that he had heard that journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Ananth Nath and Vinod K Jose and MP Tharoor had tweeted saying that a farmer had died in police firing during the tractor parade in Delhi on January 26. Police registered a criminal case under IPC sections 153a (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc), 153b (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 295a (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 298 (uttering, words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings), 506 (criminal intimidation), 124a (sedition), 504 (whoever intentionally insults and gives provocation) against the suspects.
The same seven persons were also booked at Misrod police station in Bhopal under IPC sections 153A, 153A (1b) and 505 (2) — promoting enmity, committing an act that is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between communities, making statements to create enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes. They have not been charged with sedition though the complaint had asked for it.

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