The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday registered an FIR against over eight Twitter accounts for allegedly propagating fake news in connection with the death of two Dalit girls in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.
The Twitter handles include news portal ‘Mojo Story’, led by senior journalist Barkha Dutt who termed the FIR a case of brazen harassment and bullying.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Pandey said that the FIR has been lodged for propagating fake and misleading news regarding the incident.
The case has been registered under Section 153 of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act against the Mojo Story (Barkha Dutt’s news agency), Nilim Dutta (Chairman of Unified People’s Movement), Janjagranlive (News agency), Suraj Kumar Baudh (Spokesperson Azad Samaj Party), Vijay Ambedkar UP (Jai Bhim IT team), Abhay kumar Azad (Bhim Army Member), Rahuldiwkr (Gadge Youth Brigade leader) and Bhim Sen Chief (Nawab Satpal Tanwar).
Dutt said, “We’ve followed journalistic principles by reporting all sides of an evolving story. To use IPC sections that are punishable with prison is pure intimidation. I am very ready to fight it and face it in court.” The ‘Mojo Story’ editor alleged that the Unnao Police had refused to even give a copy of the FIR without which one cannot appeal for judicial intervention.
“Even more suspicious is how Unnao Police has clubbed us with a bunch of politicians”, she added.
Three girls, aged 16, 15 and 14, had left home to bring fodder for cattle on Wednesday night. They were found lying in an agriculture field when they did not return home.
Local residents had rushed them to a hospital where two of them were declared brought dead. The third girl is presently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kanpur, Police said.
The last rites of the deceased girls were performed on Friday morning amid tight security arrangements.