New Delhi: The Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) has expressed shock over the FIR against The Wire and senior journalists over reports on an attack on an elderly Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad.
On Tuesday, The Wire had reported that the elderly Muslim man was attacked in Loni, in Ghaziabad district, on June 5 while on his way to offer prayers at a mosque. Abdul Samad (72) had alleged in a viral video that the attackers had also cut off his beard and beat him up while forcing him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Although The Wire and several other media outlets had reported on the incident which was already in the public domain, the Uttar Pradesh Police had still filed an FIR.
“The follow-up news stories and tweets were on the basis of incidents that were already public knowledge and talking about them or sharing them is neither a threat to public order nor is it done with the intent to spread hatred,” IWPC has said in a statement, signed by its president Vineeta Pandey and general secretary Suparna Sharma.
As The Wire has reported, the FIR, filed at 11:20 pm on June 15 has named AltNews journalist Mohammad Zubair, journalist Rana Ayub, media organisation The Wire, Congress’s Salman Nizami, Maskoor Usmani and Shama Mohamed, writer Saba Naqvi and social media giant Twitter INC and Twitter Communications India PVT.
“The fact that the Ghaziabad Police, under whose jurisdiction this attack took place, is spending time and resources to go after journalists and news organisations seems to be an attempt to muzzle the media and to divert attention,” IWPC has said.
The IWPC demanded that the FIR against journalists and news organisations be quashed, and instead, suggested the Uttar Pradesh Police to focus on investigating the crime and bring the perpetrators to book.