India: six media workers face sedition charges charged for covering farmers' protestEvent
- Initial Date
- Jan 28, 2021
- Event Description
The police have filed a case against seven people, including Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, for allegedly “misreporting” and “spreading disharmony” during the clashes between the police and the protesting farmers on Republic Day.
The FIR was filed on Thursday night by Gurugram Police on the basis of a complaint by Jharsa resident Pankaj Singh (34), who works with a private company. The police said the complainant has accused Tharoor, Sardesai and five other journalists of spreading “false and misleading information”.
Karan Goel, assistant commissioner of police (DLF), said that the police would probe the complaint that the suspects had spread fake news accusing the Delhi police of the murder of a person who was driving tractor during the riot in the Capital on Republic Day. “Gurugram Police has begun an investigation into the matter,” said Goel.
On Tuesday, thousands of protesting farmers had clashed with the police during the tractor rally called by farmer unions to highlight their demand for repeal of the Centre’s three farm laws.
A case under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 124A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered at the Cyber police station of Gurugram.
“I filed a complaint with the Gururgam Police on Thursday and attached the social media posts from the suspects Twitter handles. I was deeply aggrieved by widespread riots on Republic Day in the national Capital,” said Singh. “I am a middle-class person with no political affiliation,” he further added.
The journalists named in the FIRs are Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, Vinod Jose, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath and Anant Nath. The Editors Guild of India has condemned filing of police cases against them.
"The journalists have been specifically targeted for reporting the accounts pertaining to the death of one of the protestors on their personal social media handles as well as those of the publications they lead and represent. It must be noted that on the day of the protest and high action, several reports were emerging from eyewitnesses on the ground as well as from the police, and therefore it was only natural for journalists to report all the details as they emerged. This is in line with established norms of journalistic practice," the Editors Guild said in a statement.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 28 January 2021, six media workers were charged with many accusation including sedition by the police for covering the farmers protest two days before alleging police violence in Gurugram, India.