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Lucknow: Two arrested over ‘doctored audio’ on ‘money for tweets’

This came a day after the police questioned retired IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh who has also been named in the FIR, registered on May 31, for sharing the recording on social media.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
June 7, 2021 3:21:02 am
Surya Pratap Singh. (Express)

Two Lucknow residents were arrested on Sunday in connection with a case registered in Kanpur over a “doctored audio clip” that the complainant has alleged defamed him and the state government. Kanpur Police Commissioner Asim Arun said the two were produced before a magistrate and sent to judicial custody.

This came a day after the police questioned retired IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh who has also been named in the FIR, registered on May 31, for sharing the recording on social media.

In the complaint that forms the basis of the FIR, Kanpur resident Atul Khushwaha named Singh, Himanshu Saini and Ashish Pandey. According to the complainant, in the “doctored audio recording” two people are heard talking about how some people are paid money for tweeting in favour of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

In a statement on Sunday, the Kanpur Police said that its investigation revealed that Khushwaha and Pandey were social media promoters and competitors. “A conspiracy was hatched by Pandey to ruin Khushwaha’s business,” read the statement.

The police said Pandey and Saini, his employee, befriended a 15-year-old from Patna on social media, spoke to the minor over the phone, and recorded the conversations. “Himanshu and Ashish Pandey mixed the two calls and made it content worth going viral. The new audio was also shared by [retired IAS] Surya Pratap Singh, Rohini Singh, and others,” read the statement.

Asim Arun said in a video statement, “We have recovered original recordings, edited recordings and editing software from the laptop. We are investigating how it reached those who tweeted this audio.”

The FIR was filed under IPC section 505 (statements for public mischief) and Section 66 of the IT Act. In addition, three more IPC sections — 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for cheating) and 469 (forgery for harming reputation) — were invoked against Pandey and Saini.

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