The Wire’s Founding Editor Siddharth Varadarajan's wife, Nandini Sundar, on Friday said that seven or eight policemen had come to their home in Delhi and claimed they had driven from Ayodhya to deliver the notice amid lockdown. This comes after Uttar Pradesh government served a notice to The Wire’s Founding Editor for making an allegedly “objectionable comment” about the Chief Minister.
In a series of tweets, Nandini Sundar had said, “When it comes to the gross abuse of police power by the Adityanath administration in UP and its intolerance of press freedom, it is clear that Covid-19, the lockdown and social distancing make no difference whatsoever.”
She claimed around eight men had travelled from Ayodhya ‘prashasan’ to serve notice on Varadarajan. Nandini said that a person came around at 2 pm on April 10 and would not give his name. She asked him to leave but he refused.
Nandini also claimed two men in uniform also did not have any masks and among them only two identified themselves. “On insisting, they gave plainclothesman’s name as Chanderbhan Yadav, not designation. Cops said they’d driven from Ayodhya for this essential service!”, she tweeted.
Nandini Sundar further added that “They wouldn’t let me sign the notice – ‘Our rule is not to give it to women and minors.’ When asked to be shown the rule, they sought instructions on phone and let me sign. Then, they phoned their boss to say notice has been received.”
Nandini Sundar said that the notice states that Siddharth Varadarajan should appear in Ayodhya on April 14 at 10 am in connection with FIR registered by the police.
On April 1, Uttar Pradesh Police registered a FIR against The Wire’s Founder-Editor Siddharth Varadarajan for spreading fake news against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The police have booked Siddharth Varadarajan over comments on Twitter claiming that the day Tablighi Jamaat held its event in Delhi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had insisted the Ram Navami fair will take place as usual. The FIR also mentioned his remark, questioning Adityanath's participation at a religious ceremony at the Ramjanmabhoomi site in Ayodhya during the nationwide lockdown.
Mrityunjay Kumar, media advisor to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, took to Twitter and said that despite the warning from the state government, Siddharth Varadarajan neither deleted the false article nor apologised. And, hence, an FIR was registered against him.