Lucknow: After Congress leader Dr Udit Raj, the Unnao Police have registered an FIR against senior journalist Barkha Dutt and seven others for spreading misinformation through their Twitter accounts. The allegation pertains to the Unnao double murder of minor Dalit girls.
The Superintendent of Police (SP) Unnao Anand Kulkarni said that an FIR has been registered against eight twitter accounts and their handlers for spreading canard over the death of two minor girls with an intention to incite people for riots and disturb harmony. He claimed that although a few tweets were removed after the police denial, investigation against them will continue.
They have been booked under various Sections of the IPC for spreading rumours with an intention of causing riots and relevant sections of the IT Act. “We will not spare anyone spreading misinformation to cause tension and disturb peace and harmony,” the SP said.
If found guilty, they will be prosecuted and application will be moved to Twitter authorities for removing their accounts, said the Unnao police. Cases have been lodged against senior journalist Barkha Dutt (@themojostory) as well as handles including @BhimSenaChief, @janjagranlive, @NilimDutta, @vijayambedkarUP, @SurajKrBaudh, @Rahuldiwkr and @Abhaykumarazad97.
The Unnao Police claimed that they had all spread misinformation by tweeting that the two girls were murdered and raped and that the police had coerced the family for a forcible burial.
Early on Sunday morning, Barkha Dutt had tweeted twice in response to the FIR against her. “The police denial on attempting an early cremation was reported prominently and we removed a tweet after their statement. However, on the ground, when we spoke to the girls’ family they still say the police wanted an early cremation. This is what we were told,” she said in her first tweet.
“We have reported all dimensions of the tragedy, the family’s anxiety and allegations as well as the police response at every step. And if this case is pursued, we will confidently defend our journalistic rights and freedom at court,” she warned in her second tweet.
Earlier, an FIR had been lodged against the Congress leader Dr Udit Raj on Saturday by the Unnao Police on similar grounds.