A day after the Noida police booked Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor and several senior journalists for sedition, the Madhya Pradesh police has also filed a similar complaint. According to reports, an FIR has been registered against them for posting "defamatory, false and instigating tweets on their Twitter handles falsely accusing Delhi Police of murder of a person" on Republic Day.
The FIR has been lodged against Tharoor as well as India Today's Rajdeep Sardesai, Zafar Agha, the Group Editor-in-Chief of National Herald, Caravan Editor Ananth Nath. Senior journalists including Mrinal Pande, Vinod K Jose, Paresh Nath and Anant Nath have also been named, and the FIR also speaks of other "unknown accused persons".
As the protesting farmers took out a Republic Day rally in the national capital, the situation soon turned violent. And as many of the protesters clashed with the police and others indulged in vandalism, one of the agitators passed away. While the farmers alleged that the man in question had been shot by the police, officials contend that he was crushed by a tractor after it rammed into a barricade.
Police officials had released a video supporting the claim. Subsequently, the Uttar Pradesh Police had said that the postmortem of the deceased farmer indicated that he had succumbed to the antemortem injuries, and that he was not shot. In the meantime, several senior journalists had lent credence to the farmers' allegations of a shooting. Several individuals including Sardesai took to Twitter quoting the farmers to make the claim that Navneet Singh had been shot.
While Tharoor had condemned the hoisting of flags at the Red Fort, he had also voiced his opinion that "violence must be avoided by both protestors and authorities". While his remarks do not exactly accuse the police of killing the protestor, he had expressed sadness over the death of the protestor in the same tweet.
The tweet mentioned in the FIR is somewhat different, quoting Tharoor as saying that he was "saddened to learn of the death of a protester in police firing". This post is not presently available on Tharoor's Twitter profile.