The Noida Police have filed a case against eight people, including journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pandey, Zafar Agha and editors of The Caravan, and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for allegedly misreporting and spreading disharmony during the clashes between the police and protesting farmers on Republic Day.
The complainant accused them of inciting riots through their social media posts on Tuesday. They sought an inquiry into the matter and demanded that the social media posts be removed.
According to the FIR, the accused tweeted that the police shot dead a farmer protesting against the farm laws during Tuesday’s clashes. It alleged that the protestors, incited by the tweets, reached the Red Fort and hoisted flags on the historical structure.
“There were many important personalities during the Republic Day parade,” the FIR said. “But the accused tweeted to malign the image of the police and the security forces.” It claimed that the accused have carried out such actions to affect the country’s peace and security earlier as well.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of Delhi for two months to demand the withdrawal of the three new farm laws. On Tuesday, a tractor parade of farmers to coincide with Republic Day celebrations turned into chaos when some farmers diverged from agreed routes, and broke through barricades.
The situation escalated when the police responded by using tear gas and batons on the protestors. The Delhi Police said 394 of its officers had been injured across the city.
It was not clear how many protestors had been injured, but one farmer died in the ITO area. While the Delhi Police said that the farmer had died in an accident, protestors alleged that the farmer was shot.
Many protestors went to the Red Fort and raised flags on a minaret.
Twenty-five criminal cases have been filed in connection with the violence, and 19 persons have been arrested so far. The police have also detained around 200 protestors on charges of rioting, damaging public property and attacking its personnel.
The police have alleged that farmer leaders made inflammatory speeches, and were involved in the violence during the tractor parade. Farmers have denied the allegations and blamed “antisocial elements” for the chaos. Several farmer leaders, including Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav and Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Haryana unit President Gurnam Singh Chaduni, were named in one of the FIRs filed by the police.