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Shashi Tharoor, 6 journos booked for sedition over Republic Day rampage

  • Published at 05:00 pm January 29th, 2021
Shashi Tharoor
File photo: Indian Congress party leader Shashi Tharoor gestures as he talks to a media representative on the first day of the winter session of the parliament in New Delhi on December 11, 2018 AFP

Officials said on Friday that at least 5 FIRs were filed against the 7 accused

India's opposition Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and six journalists have been booked by police on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy over Tuesday's rampage by farmers during their tractor rally in Delhi. 

Officials said on Friday that at least five FIRs were filed against the seven accused -- one in the city of Noida in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, close to the national capital, and four in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.  

In Noida, the FIR was filed on a complaint by a resident who alleged that "digital broadcasts" and "social media posts" by Tharoor and the six journalists, including popular TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai, fuelled the violence on India's Republic Day. 

Apart from 55-year-old Sardesai, journalists Mrinal Pande, Vinod Jose, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath and Anant Nath have been named in the FIRs, officials said. 

Sardesai serves as a consulting editor at the Indian Today Group and is an anchor for its English news channel. 

The Editors Guild of India has, however, condemned the FIRs against them, saying they reported "in line with established norms of journalistic practice." 

"The journalists have been specifically targeted for reporting the accounts pertaining to the death of one of the protestors on their personal social media handles as well as those of the publications they lead and represent," the Guild said in a statement.