The Ashok Gehlot government has filed an FIR against a TV journalist and a former media manager of Sachin Pilot. The FIR was lodged two months after the police discovered fake news on August 7 about the phone tapping of the MLAs who were billeted in a Jaisalmer hotel during the political crisis in the state.
The FIR has been filed against a Hindi news channel’s special correspondent, Sharat Kumar and Lokendra Singh, the former media manager of Sachin Pilot. Lokendra Singh has been a TV journalist and worked for a news agency. Surprisingly, the FIR was lodged after the Congress leader accused Narendra Modi for curtailing press freedom.
New twist in Rajasthan politics
Political observers here are terming the filing of the FIR as a new twist in the political scenario in the state after the ceasefire between Sachin Pilot and Gehlot at the intervention of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.
What is surprising is that while the sedition case against Pilot and two former ministers Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena were dropped after they returned to Congress, how a fake news case was still relevant. The FIR has been filed under sections 505 (1) and (2) (statement conducing to public mischief), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 76 of the Information Technology Act.
Two months ago, a list of phone calls made by the MLAs and ministers of the Gehlot camp, who were confined in a hotel in Jaisalmer, was leaked on social media by the Pilot camp. The Pilot camp’s media advisor Lokendra Singh had given the list of mobile numbers that were tapped by the police.
Then the Pilot camp had dubbed the tapping and recording of the mobile phones as unconstitutional and unethical. This issue was reported in several media. After the tapping issue was reported in the media, police officers reached the residence of Sachin Pilot to record the statement of his media advisor Lokendera Singh. He was asked to show his phone details.
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