The Bombay High Court has granted a four-week transit anticipatory bail to controversial journalist Rana Ayyub in connection with Ghaziabad police's FIR under various sections of the IPC for sharing a video on Twitter with the deliberate and malicious intention to foment religious discord.
As per Live Law, a single judge bench of Justice P D Naik granted the protection from arrest to enable Ayyub to approach the appropriate court for relief.
As reported earlier, the individuals named in FIR include Mohammad Zubair, the co-founder of propaganda website Altnews and journalists Saba Naqvi and Rana Ayyub. Two Congress leaders Slaman Nizami and Dr Shama Mohammed also feature in the FIR
The FIR has also named Twitter India and The Wire for falsely giving communal colour to an incident in Loni.
“There is no communal angle to the incident in Loni where a man was thrashed and his beard was chopped off. The following entities-The Wire, Rana Ayyub, Mohammad Zubair, Dr Shama Mohammed, Saba Naqvi, Maskoor Usmani, Slaman Nizami-without checking the fact, started giving communal colour to the incident on Twitter and suddenly they started spreading messages to disrupt the peace and bring differences between the religious communities,” the Ghaziabad Police noted in their FIR.
The FIR contains sections under sections 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505 (publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report with intent to incite), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
A video, purportedly that of a 72-year-old Muslim man being beaten up, his beard forcibly cut and made to chant “Jai Siya Ram,”, went viral on social media two days ago.
An investigation by Ghaziabad police revealed that the suspected perpetrators were known to the victim Sufi Abdul Samad, who hails from Anupshahr in Bulandshahr district. They also said the incident was one of “personal dispute”. Among those arrested for the assault include at least 2 Muslims.
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