On Tuesday, student activist from Jamia Millia Islamia Ladeeda Farzana has sent a legal notice to news portal OpIndia for publishing 'henious news reports' about the activist. The activist has sued the portal for Rs 50 lakhs.
Farzana shared a copy of the notice on Twitter. The notice read, "My client is the Student of Jamia Millia Islamia Univeristy, Delhi, and is a well-known Student Rights Activist and a Social Activist in India. She is also one among the prominent leaders in the forefront of the historic movement against the unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment At (CAA) which is presently being challenged before the Supreme Court of India by numerous petitioners. My client's activities have gained national attention and has been covered and reported by major national and international media. My client has also become one among the icons of nationwide protest demanding the withdrawal of CAA."
The legal notice further read, "It has come to my client's notice that, Party No.1 of you as the Editor of Party No. 2 which is owned by Party No 3 represented by Party No. 4, has published various heinous news reports in the news portal on (16.12.2019, 17.12.2019, 20.12.2019, 27.01.2020, 06.02.2020, 27.02.2020, 17.05.2020, and 03.08.2020) against my client in the name of OP India Staff and two other news reports prepared by Party NO. 5 among you. Contents and URL Links of various reports you have published on your News Portal "OP India" (https://www.opindia.com/) which is extracted below for your immediate attention: prosecution against her. My client further states that these attempts are a part of malafide propaganda of BJP-RSS against the Students and Activists who are actively questioning and protesting the unconstitutional CAA. "
The lawyer in the legal notice said that the news reports on Farzana has caused damage to her reputation. "According to my client, though your dishonesty in reporting news is evident and is doing unprofessional media activity, it has got wide circulation across the country and has large and extensive readers. The aforementioned reports have been widely circulated and have attained a manifold reach. The post has been spread and shared among the well-wishers of my client who has grossly caused damage and reputation to my client," the legal notice states.
The legal notice also states that the news portal is deliberately attempting to cause trouble, including mental agony to Farzana. "Your news report has reached a vast circulation by now through all social media platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp. It seems you have deliberately attempted in causing trouble to my client. The news report has caused huge mental agony, loss of reputation and goodwill of my client among their well-wishers and the general public. lt may be noted that your mala fide act and circulation of the Facebook post among the public and well-wishers of my client has caused a huge loss and mental agony to my client and related organizations."
Farzana sued the news portal for Rs 50 lakh and has asked the organisation to pay the amount within 7 days. If OpIndia fails to pay for the damages, a legal action will be initiated against them, read the legal notice.
"Hence, you are liable to be punished as per Section 499 and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code. 'Your deeds and words imputed a defamatory statement against my client, which is intended to harm and lower the reputation of my client and consequently defame my client. Even though the loss and hardship cannot be quantified in terms of money, my client estimates the same at Rs.50,00,000 (Rupees Fifty Lakhs Only). You and your properties are liable for the said claim and you are directed to pay the said amount within 7 days from the receipt of this notice and also tender an unconditional apology to my client and withdraw the Facebook post unconditionally. Failure on your part to comply the above demand, my client will be constrained to initiate appropriate legal action against you, civil and criminal, and in that event you shall be liable for all the incidental expenses of my client, including the legal charges of issuing this notice being Rs. 5,000/. (Rupees Five Thousand Only). Please Note. "
OpIndia's recent article headlined - Delhi violence started after Ladeeda’s call to Jihad on 11th December, now, she has another message ahead of Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan - talks about her post ahead of Ayodhya Bhoomi Pujan.
Excerpt from the article reads, "Ladeeda’s post, which can be considered reasonably provocative, for its subtle message of continuing to harbour resentment, came days before the historic Bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram Mandir."
"However, Ladeeda’s disapproving remarks ahead of the Bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya reveals her contempt for the apex court’s order and also for Hindus against whom she had called for Jihad earlier. Since the dispute was fought in the court of law and the construction of a Ram Temple at the site is as per the judgement passed by the top court, Ladeeda’s refusal to accept the top court’s decision reveals her brazen disregard for the rule of law. Not just this, her past Facebook posts betray her allegiance to the radical Islamic extremism and her contempt for Hindus," the article reads.
Ladeeda Farzana became the face of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest at the Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi in December 2019. Several images and videos of burqa-clad Ladeeda Farzana and went viral on social media.
In a viral video, Farzana and other women protestors were seen protecting a young man from Delhi Police's lathis.