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New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh police has filed an FIR against Shams Tabrez Qasmi, editor for the multi-lingual news outlet Millat Times, for tweeting videos of communal clashes in Kanpur.
The news outlet announced this through a tweet. Journalist Qasmi, who is also founder of the outlet, has been booked under sections 505 and 507 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 of the IT Act.
Uttar Pradesh police has booked @ShamsTabrezQ who is founder editor of @Millat_Times for posting a video on Twitter showing communal clashes in Kanpur. sections invoked are 505& 507 of ipc & 66 of IT Act accusing him of spreading provocative & fake news. pic.twitter.com/mHhQLLq8pk
— Millat Times (@Millat_Times) June 6, 2022
In a tweet, Qasmi has called the case and charges against him “baseless.”
“The case and charges against me are baseless. This attempt of the UP police to silence me will not work. I will continue doing journalism to hold power to account,” he wrote.
Police has filed a case against me over my video tweet regarding Kanpur violence. The case and charges against me are baseless. This attempt of the UP police to silence me will not work. I will continue doing journalism to hold power to account.
— Shams Tabrez Qasmi (@ShamsTabrezQ) June 6, 2022
Qasmi’s Twitter handle still has videos of the Kanpur violence, although it is not clear if these are the ones he was booked for.
Clashes broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur on Friday, June 3, during a protest against Bharatiya Janta Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks against Prophet Muhammad during a debate show on television. The discussion was on the ongoing Gyanvapi mosque row. The issue has since resulted in a major diplomatic backlash against India, leading the BJP to suspend Sharma.
On June 4, police registered three FIRs against more than 1,000 unknown persons, out of whom 55 people have been named as accused, all of whom are Muslims.