India: media worker booked on false allegationsEvent
- Initial Date
- Apr 8, 2021
- Event Description
A journalist and founder of news portal ‘The Ink’ has been booked by the Hisar police on charges of promoting communal disharmony and making assertions prejudicial to national-integration under the Indian Penal Code for allegedly posting “inflammatory” messages on various social media platforms. He also been charged under the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.
Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja condemned the registration of the case, saying Mr. Kundu was “vocal” in raising the farmers’ voice during the ongoing agitation against three farm laws. She demanded the immediate withdrawal of the case and added that the voice of journalists could not be suppressed through such action.
Haryana Working Journalists Union vice-president Anil Sharma condemned the registration of the case as an “attack on the freedom of press” and said it was prejudicial to democracy. He said a meeting would be convened soon on the matter.
According to the First Information Report, registered at the behest of Hisar police spokesperson and Head Constable Vikash, journalist Rajesh Kundu allegedly posted a message on a Whatsapp group on April 8 saying a “script was ready for instigating caste-related violence in Hisar in a week’s time and a blueprint was ready to further implement it at state and national level.”
Mr. Vikash, in his complaint, said Mr. Kundu posted a similar message on his Facebook page and it amounted to an attempt to “provoke” and “instigate” people.
Demanding action against the journalist, Mr. Vikash said the post could be prejudicial to the nation’s integrity and sovereignty.
When contacted, Mr. Kundu told The Hindu that his post was actually aimed at “warning” the people against a possible conspiracy to instigate caste-related violence in the city and prevent riots. He said he also did a news story on the matter.
He said the registration of the case against him was an attempt to harass him since he had exposed the conspiracy to instigate riots.
Station House Officer, Hisar Civil Lines, Inspector Balwant Singh said the police had enough evidence against the accused in the form of his posts on social media platforms and the matter was under investigation.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Enactment of repressive legislation and policies
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 8 April 2021, Rajesh Kundu, media worker, was falsely accused of inciting unrest and charged with cyber crimes for covering and sharing private messages on the farmers protest in Hisar, India.