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Uttar Pradesh Police Register FIR Against The Wire, 2 Journalists For Their Report On Gareeb Nawaz Mosque Demolition

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 Jun 2021 6:22 AM GMT
Uttar Pradesh Police Register FIR Against The Wire, 2 Journalists For Their Report On Gareeb Nawaz Mosque Demolition
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The Uttar Pradesh Police has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against news portal, The Wire and two journalists associated with the Portal for their report on the alleged Gareeb Nawaz Mosque illegal demolition (Ramsanehighat, Barabanki) issue in Uttar Pradesh. The FIR has been registered against Journalists Seraj Ali and Mukul Chauhan, for a video report about the...

The Uttar Pradesh Police has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against news portal, The Wire and two journalists associated with the Portal for their report on the alleged Gareeb Nawaz Mosque illegal demolition (Ramsanehighat, Barabanki) issue in Uttar Pradesh.

The FIR has been registered against Journalists Seraj Ali and Mukul Chauhan, for a video report about the alleged illegal demolition of the mosque [for offences under Sections 153, 153A, 120-B and section 501(1)b of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)].

Apart from the two Journalists and The Wire, the FIR also names Mohammad Anees, secretary of the mosque committee, and Mohammad Naeem, one of the local residents, with whom The Wire spoke to in the video.

The FIR has been lodged on the basis of a complaint lodged on a complaint filed by Mahendra Singh.

It may be noted that the Masjid was demolished earlier this month by the district administration in Barabanki, claiming it to be an "illegal structure" and was widely reported in the media.

The FIR alleges that the Journalists, intentionally, to spread 'animosity in society' and 'disturb communal harmony, uploaded the video on Twitter regarding the legal demolition of an 'illegal building" (mosque).

The FIR doesn't use the word Mosque (Masjid), rather calls it Illegal Building/Structure and avers that the same was demolished legally.

The FIR further states that baseless statements have been given in the video and its has been stated that the administration/police threw the religious books associated to a particular religious community in the river and drain, which is not correct.

The Wire has called the Barabanki police's charges "baseless" and in a statement to the media on Thursday, Siddharth Varadarajan, The Wire's founding editor, said,

"This is the fourth FIR filed by the UP Police in the past 14 months against The Wire and/or its journalists and each of these cases is baseless."

In related news, the Sunni Waqf Board and the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have moved their writ petitions before the Allahabad High Court against the recent demolition of the Gareeb Nawaz Mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Barbanki District (Ram Sanehi Ghat area).

The petition by the Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Waqf Board has been filed through Advocate Syed Aftab Ahmed and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has moved the High Court through Advocate Saud Rais.

A contempt petition has already been moved before the Allahabad High Court against the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Ram Sanehi Ghat, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh along with other local authorities in connection with the recent demolition of Gareeb Nawaz Mosque (Barabanki).

Also, recently the Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) stayed the arrest of Gareeb Nawaz Masjid's Committee members against whom an FIR has been filed accusing them of forging Mosque's documents.

The Bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava directed that until a police report under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C. is filed, the petitioners shall not be subjected to any coercive measures.

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