Shashi Tharoor, journalists, Rajya Sabha, slapped, FIRs

FIRs against Tharoor, journalists figure in RS

The Congress raised the issue of cases filed against its MP Shashi Tharoor and six journalists in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, demanding withdrawal of the sedition charges that were slapped to “intimidate independent journalism and free voice”.
Raising the issue through a zero hour mention, Digvijaya Singh of the Congress said FIRs had been filed against politicians, journalists and civil society activists under felonious sections in the past few days.
The FIRs have been filed in five states over their alleged “misleading” tweets on the violence and death of a protester during the farmers” tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day.
“Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor and journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, Mandeep Punia and several others have been charged with sedition on the basis of one person’s complaint,” Singh said.
Charges of sedition, criminal intimidation, promoting enmity, provocation to break public peace, criminal conspiracy, outraging religious feelings, among others, have been invoked in the FIRs lodged at Gurgaon, Bengaluru and in different districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Singh said sedition was a colonial law that British used to jail freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Ashfaqulla Khan.
“On the basis of similar worked complaints with identical content, FIRs have been registered in different police stations in three states,” he said. “This is a planned conspiracy to intimidate independent journalism and free voice. We condemn this.”
Stating that independent journalism is a pre-requisite for democracy, Singh asked the Home Ministry to withdraw sedition charges.