Karnataka police register FIR against Hindi news channel, Consulting Editor on allegations of spreading misinformation about govt scheme

PTI | Bengaluru | Updated: 13-09-2023 15:29 IST | Created: 13-09-2023 15:29 IST
Karnataka police register FIR against Hindi news channel, Consulting Editor on allegations of spreading misinformation about govt scheme
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The Karnataka Police have registered an FIR against a Hindi news channel and its Consulting Editor on allegations of spreading misinformation about a commercial vehicle subsidy scheme of the State government for minorities, officials said on Wednesday.

The FIR was filed under Sections 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) and 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) of the Indian Penal Code against the channel and its Consulting Editor following a complaint by the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation (KMDC) Assistant Administrator Shivakumar at Seshadripuram police station here, they said.

The complainant accused the Consulting Editor of spreading false news about the scheme offered by the corporation and trying to disturb communal harmony in the state.

Reacting to the FIR, the Consulting Editor of Aaj Tak channel, Sudhir Choudhary said he was ready to fight it in court.

''Got information about an FIR against me by the Congress government in Karnataka. The answer to the question is FIR? That too with non-bailable sections. That means complete preparation for arrest. My question was why the Hindu community is not included in the self-reliant Sarathi scheme? I am ready for this fight also. Now meet in court..," he said in a post on 'X'.

According to the FIR, on September 11 in a news programme, the Consulting Editor claimed that the Karnataka government was providing the scheme that benefit only to the minorities and not to the non-minority Hindus and that it is practicing minority appeasement in the state. He also claimed that it is causing injustice to Hindus.

''By publishing such news, an attempt is being made to spread hatred between Hindus and other religions. It is also an attempt to create an atmosphere of unrest and instigating communal riots. Despite being fully aware of the statements he is making, by publishing such news, he is hatching a conspiracy to disturb communal harmony in the state,'' the complainant alleged.

KMDC also issued a statement explaining the scheme and alleged that the channel ''twisted'' the news.

According to the statement, the KMDC had been giving a 50 per cent subsidy or up to Rs three lakh for the unemployed youths to buy autorickshaws, goods, and taxis to become self-employed. Besides, a number of similar schemes have been implemented by Devaraj Urs Development Corporation, Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation, Valmiki Development Corporation, and Adi Jambhava Development Corporation.

''These schemes were not only for the minority community but also for backward classes, scheduled castes, and scheduled tribes. It was also available for the Hindu community's unemployed youths. These schemes were not implemented by the incumbent Congress government but by the previous BJP government,'' the statement said.

''But the news channel twisted this news saying that it had been meant only for the minorities in general and the Muslims in particular thereby doing injustice to the Hindus. This news was nothing but false and malicious. It aimed at whipping up the communal feelings in the society,'' the complaint alleged.

After the news report was aired, Karnataka Minister of Information Technology and Biotechnology Priyank Kharge alleged on Tuesday that the anchor was deliberately spreading misinformation on government schemes.

''The anchor of @aajtak is deliberately spreading misinformation on government schemes which was first started by BJP MPs & is being amplified by sections of media. This is deliberate & malicious, Govt will be taking necessary legal action,'' the son of the Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge said in a post on 'X'.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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