A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA in Gujarat’s Surat city has filed a first information report against journalist Aakar Patel. Patel disclosed it in a tweet on Friday, and said that he has been accused of “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.
Patel said the complainant mentioned three of his tweets in the FIR. He also shared a screenshot of a part of the FIR in which the complainant has used a derogatory term for black people.
“BJP Surat MLA filed another FIR against me yesterday [Thursday],” Patel tweeted. “Another block coming. Twitter has not given me a copy of previous notice ...Modi gormint [government] sent them blocking my account. Home page remains blocked in India. ‘Account Withheld’. [This] is needed to [be] challenged in court.”
This is the second FIR against Patel in less than a month. On June 11, a case was filed against him for allegedly suggesting that marginalised groups of Indians should emulate the protests in the United States against the killing of an African American man named George Floyd in police custody. A week later, microblogging website Twitter had blocked Patel’s account in India for violating Indian laws.
Last month, Patel had posted some video clips of the protests against the death of Floyd. In his tweets, he had asked Muslims, Dalit, Advasis and women in India to stage similar protests against their conditions.
In the first FIR, Patel was booked under sections 505 (1) (b) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or public tranquility), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 117 (abetting commission of an offence by the public or by more than ten persons) of the Indian Penal Code by the Bengaluru Police.
After his Twitter account was blocked in India, Patel had told Scroll.in that he had not been given details on the action taken or the allegations against him, adding that this ensured he could not seek legal recourse in the matter.