A court in Rajasthan has directed that an FIR be registered against cricketer Hardik Pandya over a tweet on B R Ambedkar. The tweet was, however, purportedly posted by a fake account.
In his complaint, advocate D R Meghwal, a resident of Jodhpur, said he belongs to a Scheduled Caste and is a social worker. He claimed that on December 26, the account tweeted, “kaun ambedkar???? Wahi jisne dogla kanoon aur sanvidhan banaya ya wo jisne #aarakshan naam ki bimari desh mein failai #HegdeInsultsAmbedkar” (Which Ambedkar? The one who made a partisan law and Constitution or the one who spread a disease called reservation).
The tweet was posted from Twitter account @sirhardik3777 while Pandya’s verified account is @hardikpandya7. Currently, there is no account active with the first username. It could not be confirmed if the account existed at all.
A “screenshot” of the tweet was posted on January 23 in a WhatsApp group where Meghwal is a member. He said the tweet hurt his sentiments and promotes hatred. He said he approached Luni police station in Jodhpur for registration of an FIR but was turned down by the SHO. Subsequently, he approached the Jodhpur police commissioner via Speed Post and sought an FIR, but still no FIR was lodged, after which he approached the court. A court in Jodhpur Wednesday then directed registration of the FIR.
Luni SHO Gajender Singh said the court’s directions were received Thursday afternoon and the process of filing the FIR is underway.
Meghwal said, “Even if the account was fake, it still hurt our sentiments. Police should find the culprit and punish him.”
PTI reported that Pandya on Thursday denied the allegations, claiming that the tweet in question was posted by a fake account. He said he respected Ambedkar, Constitution and the many communities that call India home. “I would not indulge in making any statement which is derogatory and/or which insults the sentiments of any community,” he said in a statement. “I use only my verified Twitter handle to make official communications via Twitter and the said tweet was posted by a spurious account, pretending to be me,” he further said.