A Meerut-based journalist was booked for defamation on Thursday after he allegedly shared a “derogatory” video on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a WhatsApp group. The group, created by the the Meerut SSP office to share police-related information, had district police officers and journalists as members. It was deleted after the case was lodge.
Afgan Soni (28) allegedly shared a 15-second “edited” video of the prime minister, said Civil Lines Police Station House Officer Ambresh Kumbar Baghel, adding that the FIR was lodged after several mediapersons objected to it and demanded action. The FIR was lodged under IPC section 500 (defamation) and under relevant sections of Information Technology Act at the Civil Lines police station.
The officer added that the police were yet to record Soni’s statement.
When contacted, Soni, who is with a Hindi Daily, told The Indian Express, “I am being targeted because I belong to a particular community. I had received the video from someone three days ago and forwarded it to the group by mistake on Wednesday. I suspect someone may have deliberately made it an issue and got the FIR lodged against me.”
Meerut SSP office spokesperson Dheeraj Shukla said, “The WhatsApp group in which Afgan Soni shared the video was formed by Meerut SSP office with the purpose of sharing details of police-related happenings with mediapersons. We have now deleted the group after this controversy.”