Congress raises issue of FIR against Tharoor, journalists in Rajya Sabha

 

Raising the issue of FIR against Tharoor 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.

“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.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at the Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the three laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed the apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.

(With PTI inputs)