FIR Against ‘The Wire’ Editor Siddharth Varadarajan For Spreading Misinformation On UP CM Yogi AdityanathImage via Twitter

Two FIRs have been lodged against Siddharth Varadarajan, the founding editor of news portal Thewire.in, for spreading fake news against UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, reports Asian News International.

One FIR was registered on Wednesday at Kotwali Nagar police station in Faizabad under Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 505(2) (creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Another FIR was registered by Harbhajan Gaud in Ayodhya Police station.

On 31 March, Varadarajan tweeted a link with this text, “On the day the Tablighi Jamaat event was held, Adityanath insisted on a large Ram Navami fair planned for Ayodhya from March 25 to April 2 would proceed as usual and that ‘Lord Ram would protect devotees from the coronavirus’.”

The quote attributed to the UP CM actually came from one Mahant Paramhans, who is allegedly head of Ayodhya temple trust.

The misinformation was first brought to light by Swarajya journalist Arush Tandon in a series of tweets.

“Someone had indeed said that Ram will ensure "no harm comes to devotees". Except that it wasn't Yogi Adityanath. It was 'Ayodhya-based Mahant Paramhans'. And where did I locate this quote? In Varadarajan's own publication--The Wire,” Tandon wrote.

“There are other reports online too, which attribute the same quote to this Mahant Paramhans. So, it turns out that Varadarajan attributed **someone else's** words to a sitting chief minister,” he further wrote.

Later, the media adviser to CM Adityanath, Mrityunjay Kumar, took to twitter to warn Varadarajan of action if he did not delete his post.

Late in the night yesterday, Kumar tweeted an image of the FIR against Varadarajan, where he said that despite warning, the latter had not taken down the post.

On his part, Varadarajan simply posted another tweet “to clarify” that the quote had been wrongly attributed to Yogi.

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