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FIR Against Wire's Editor Siddharth Varadarajan for reporting that the farmer in tractor rally on Republic Day had died in police firing

WebdeskFeb 02, 2021, 09:03 AM IST

FIR Against Wire's Editor Siddharth Varadarajan for reporting that the farmer in tractor rally on Republic Day had died in police firing

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday lodged an FIR against The Wire’s 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. 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 state’s Rampur district. The FIR was filed on a complaint by one Sanju Turaha, a resident of Rampur district. The article, published on Friday, cited the family of Navreet Singh, who had rejected the Delhi Police’s claims that the farmer had died after his tractor overturned. The family has alleged that the man was shot. The FIR referred to Varadarajan’s tweet in which he shared The Wire’s article. The FIR stated, "The report was presented in a manner which made it seem like the doctor, who conducted the autopsy of the farmer, had confirmed that he died of a bullet injury. As a result, Rampur’s people have become resentful, and tension has increased. This post certainly seems to be a part of a conspiracy to incite violence with the aim of making an unfair profit by harming the general public.” Several other states have filed FIRs against journalists reporting that the death of the farmer was caused by bullet injuries. But the Uttar Pradesh Police was the first to file an FIR against the seven in Noida that includes charges of sedition, followed by similar cases filed by the police in Madhya Pradesh, Gurugram and Bengaluru. However, the ‘liberals’ have activated their network and sent out messages to senior officials in Yogi government to desist from taking any action against Varadarajan. The UP government officials have been ‘warned’ that if action is taken against Varadarajan, the US government may intervene since he is a US citizen. No sooner the FIR was registered against Varadarajan for fake news, the liberals have started chanting foul. A columnist with Wall Street Journal Sadanand Dhume called India a ‘fast becoming international joke’ for actually taking action against someone spreading fake news. Conceited journalist Aatish Taseer, whose Pakistani father was killed for opposing blasphemy, tagged US Vice President Kamala Harris, nudging her to not be friends with India. However, any of these ‘soft warnings’ by 'liberal' journalists have no effect on the Yogi administration and the police were directed to act according to the FIR was duly filed against Varadarajan. “If the legal requirements need us to arrest, we will arrest him (Siddharth Varadarajan). Yogi govt doesn’t work for Biden but for Indian people. US citizens can go back to their country if they don’t want to follow laws of India,” said an official. Last time also, ‘journalists’ who work for foreign media had raised a storm in international publications when action was initiated against Varadarajan for wrongly attributing a quote to UP CM Yogi Adityanath. Varadarajan, in a bid to whitewash the deeds of Tablighi Jamaat, had wrongly attributed a fake quote to the UP CM. Despite warnings from the state government, Varadarajan neither deleted the false article and nor apologised for the same. In July last year when the notorious gangster Vikas Dubey was killed during a police encounter, a article was published in The Wire insinuating Yogi Adityanath as a ‘casteist’ because in his ‘encounter raj’, most people encountered in the state have been low rung, petty criminals and that none of the most wanted criminals have ever been encountered in the state. The Wire made very clear insinuations here, saying that Yogi Adityanath government had no intentions of going after Vikas Dubey. The Yogi Adityanath government went only after Muslims and Dalits. The Yogi Adityanath government went after petty criminals, not the ones who were ‘connected’. The very basis of the article on Dubey was that the Yogi government goes only after Muslims and Dalits. While the fact is that a raid was conducted to nab Dubey, and 8 policemen were brutally murdered by Dubey’s men. A manhunt was launched as a result of which, Dubey was nabbed in Madhya Pradesh. When UP Police was bringing him back to UP, he tried to escape and was shot dead in an encounter. Further, there have been other instances when The Wire tried to peddle propaganda that could lead to law and order situations. The Wire’s Arfa Khanum Sherwani advised Muslims protesting against the CAA to appear inclusive ‘as part of strategy‘? The fact was that the Citizenship Amendment Act does not affect Indian Muslims in any way. It only speeds up citizenship process for non-Muslims from three neighbouring Islamic countries who have taken refuge in India because of religious persecution.

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