Kutch district police have registered an FIR against news channel NDTV following a complaint by one of the men who had allegedly entered a Tanishq showroom in Gandhidham on Monday evening and demanded an apology for the advertisement that depicted an interfaith family.
The FIR was lodged on Thursday, a day after Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja tweeted that a case be lodged against those spreading “fake news”, with reference to an NDTV report about an “attack on the Tanishq showroom in Gandhidham”.
The channel has been booked under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).
The channel had stated in a report on Wednesday that the store had received “threats”.
Police patrolling and surveillance was intensified at the Tanishq showroom after a group of men entered it on Monday evening, protesting the advertisement by Tanishq. The company later withdrew the ad.
The complainant in the FIR, registered at A division police station of Gandhidham on Thursday night, is Ramesh Maitra, a local businessman who was part of a group that entered the showroom on Monday evening.
A senior police officer in Gandhidham told The Indian Express, “The complainant had approached us with a complaint stating that the news channel had reported fake news with intent to spread anarchy in the society. Taking cognizance, we have lodged an FIR with the accused as ‘NDTV channel’. Further investigation is going on.”
The police have not made the FIR public, citing “sensitivity” of the case, but sources said the complainant stated that only two persons, including himself, had gone to the showroom on Monday evening to have a “polite conversation” with the staff, and that no incident of violence took place.
On Wednesday, Prakash Gupta, manager of the Tanishq showroom in Gandhidham, had told The Indian Express that a group of six or seven people had “barged into the showroom” on Monday evening and demanded apology from the staff for the advertisement. The group then wrote a letter stating that the showroom was apologising to the Hindu community and pasted it on the showroom’s glass door before leaving.
Mayur Patil, , Kutch East, later told the media that only two men had gone into the showroom, and that no violent incident took place.
In a statement released on Twitter on Wednesday, Gujarat minister Jadeja stated: “The news of an attack on a showroom in Gandhidham Kutch by @ndtv is totally fake. This is a motivated attempt to adversely impact law and order and incite violence in Gujarat. I have asked to register a case and take strict action against those who spread this fake news.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines