Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad have filed an FIR against nine, including Twitter India and two Congress leaders, for falsely giving communal colour to an incident in Loni where an elderly Muslim man was assaulted and had his beard chopped off.
“There is no communal angle to the incident in Loni where a man was thrashed and his beard was chopped off. The following entities-The Wire, Rana Ayyub, Mohammad Zubair, Dr Shama Mohammed, Saba Naqvi, Maskoor Usmani, Slaman Nizami-without checking the fact, started giving communal colour to the incident on Twitter and suddenly they started spreading messages to disrupt the peace and bring differences between the religious communities,” the Ghaziabad Police noted in their FIR.
The Ghaziabad Police, further accusing Twitter of “doing nothing to prevent the video from getting viral,” named the company, Twitter Communications India Private Limited, The Wire, as well as other individuals as accused in the FIR. The case was registered on Tuesday.
Among those booked, Ayyub and Naqvi are senior journalists, while Zubair is an author at the fact-checking website Alt News. Dr Shama Mohammed and Nizami, meanwhile, are members of the Congress with the former being a prominent face of the party on TV debates. Usmani, a former president of the students union of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), was fielded by the Congress as a candidate in Bihar assembly elections in October-November last year.
The Wire is an online news portal, whose founding editors include senior journalists Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and MK Venu.
The controversy pertains to an assault on the 72-year-old Sufi Abdul Samad in Ghaziabad’s Loni on June 5. While assaulting Samad, the accused allegedly made him chant “Jai Siya Ram,” which loosely translates to “Hail Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.” A video, purportedly of the incident, went viral.
However, according to the Ghaziabad Police, Samad and the accused knew each other and the former was beaten up over a “personal dispute.” The police have also denied that he was made to chant “Jai Siya Ram.” Thus far, three suspects have been arrested of whom two are Hindus and one is a Muslim, which has prompted the police to rule out any religious or communal angle in the incident.
(With inputs from ANI)
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