FIR against BJP leaders for sharing doctored video of Rahul Gandhi
The video was edited out of context to make it seem like the Congress leader described the Udaipur killing accused persons as children.
Bharatiya Janata Party MPs Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Subrat Pathak have been named in a first information report filed in Chhattisgarh about circulation of a doctored video of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress said on Monday, PTI reported.
The video had been circulated with the aim to disturb communal harmony, Congress has alleged.
Apart from Rathore and Pathak, three more persons have also been named in the FIR registered in Bilaspur, said Pawan Khera, head of Congress party’s media and publicity team.
In the video, Gandhi made a comment on the Students’ Federation of India for attacking his Wayanad office on June 24. Gandhi described the attackers as children and said he had no ill-will against them, the Congress said.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the clip had been doctored to appear as if it was a comment on the killers of Kanhaiya Lal. The Udaipur tailor was murdered and his killing was filmed by the assailants on June 28.
The Congress has lodged complaints against the two MPs and three others in Delhi, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as well, said Congress’ social media in-charge Supriya Shrinate.
“Why are these people spreading this fire of hate all over the country?” Shrinate asked. “We ask the prime minister why he has converted MPs and former ministers to ‘two-rupee trolls’. The problem is those who peddle fake news get promotions in the BJP. Everyone knows what the current I&B minister said during Delhi riots and he was promoted.”
The police complaints were filed after Ramesh on Saturday wrote to BJP President JP Nadda asking that the leaders should apologise for sharing the video or face legal action.
Ramesh said that Pathak and BJP MLA Kamlesh Saini had shared the video and Rathore had propagated it.
He said that the Hindutva party leaders were “deliberately and enthusiastically” sharing a modified report that was aired on Zee News at 9 pm on July 1.
On Monday, Shrinate accused Rathore of sedition, PTI reported.
“If an attempt is made by a former Union minister to spread fake news with the intention of disturbing communal harmony in the country, it amounts to sedition,” she alleged.
She said that the prime minister addressed a rally in Hyderabad on Sunday but he did not appeal for peace.
“Peddling fake news on social media is one thing but using social media in cahoots with terrorists will not be accepted,” Shrinate added. “At such a sensitive time in the country, how can they dare to spread a fake video involving Rahul Gandhi. Apart from fake news, this is also a conspiracy because even if Twitter posts are deleted, WhatsApp messages would remain in circulation and disturb peace.”
In the video shared by Rathore, the BJP leader claimed that Gandhi had referred to the Udaipur killers as youngsters. However, Twitter flagged it as “out of context”.
Shrinate urged that social media should be made a safe platform to hold public discourse and policy discussions, PTI reported.
“You will have to face consequences of maligning our leader,” Shrinate warned.
Khera referred to the suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant who was held in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday and alleged that the BJP has links with terrorists.
Talib Hussain Shah, a resident of Draj village in Rajouri, was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police along with other suspected militants. It later came to light that Shah was the head of the Information Technology and Social Media Cell of BJP’s Minority Morcha in Jammu province.
Earlier at a press conference in Delhi, Khera alleged that Mohammed Riyaz Attari was a BJP worker. Attari is one of the accused persons in the Udaipur tailor’s murder case.Pictures accessed by India Today showed Attari with BJP leaders. However, the saffron party has denied any association with him.