The police in Bengaluru have registered a sedition case against former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, besides journalists including Rajdeep Sardesai, for their tweets on the death of a protester during the Republic Day farmers’ parade in New Delhi. The other accused in the case are Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath and Vinod K Jose. Other than sedition, they have been also accused of promoting communal disharmony and insulting religious beliefs.
This is the third such FIR (First Information Report) filed against these prominent personalities within a week, after the police in Uttar Pradesh (Noida) and Madhya Pradesh also registered sedition cases against them on the same issue.
The Parappana Agrahara police have booked the former minister and journalists under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 506 (criminal intimidation), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 124A (sedition), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 295A ( outraging religious feelings and insulting religion) and 298 (uttering, words, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The case was registered on Friday by the Parappana Agrahara police based on a written complaint filed by a Rakesh BS, who identified himself as a social worker.
Reacting to the FIRs by UP and MP police, the Editors Guild of India had issued a statement condemning the police action and said it was an attempt to "intimidate, harass and stifle" the media. It also asked for such FIRs be withdrawn immediately and said that the media should be allowed to report without fear and with freedom.