Karnataka police book Aaj Tak’s Sudhir Chaudhary for ‘promoting communal hatred through lies’

News Network
September 14, 2023

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Bengaluru, Sept 14: The Karnataka police have registered an FIR against anchor Sudhir Chaudhary for “conspiring to disrupt communal harmony” in a show hosted by him on the Aaj Tak news channel during which he talked about the state government’s commercial vehicle subsidy scheme.

Chaudhary was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for promoting enmity between groups by the Sheshadripuram police in Bengaluru, based on a complaint filed by an official of the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation.

In the show, Chaudhary had allegedly claimed subsidies were being provided only for minorities in Karnataka and not for Hindus, the FIR said. “The show claimed that the scheme meted injustice to poor Hindus in the state” and “conspired to disturb communal harmony in the state,” according to the FIR.

While Chaudhary is accused number one in the case, the chief editor and the organiser of Aaj Tak are accused number two and three respectively.

After the show was aired on the channel on September 11, the Karnataka government had threatened legal action against the anchor for deliberately spreading misinformation on government schemes. The schemes offered subsidies for members of the minority community to buy commercial vehicles.

An advertisement published in a newspaper about the scheme had also triggered a row as BJP MPs alleged that the scheme highlighted ‘minority appeasement’ under Congress rule.

On its part, the government maintained the scheme has been in existence for several years under different development corporations meant for the welfare of various communities. Similar schemes existed for other groups too, the government said, adding that the subsidy scheme for minorities existed even under the Bharatiya Janata Party rule.

Karnataka IT/BT minister Priyank Kharge had posted on X after the show was aired, saying it was “deliberate & malicious” and that the government would take necessary action.

The decision to file an FIR against the anchor was criticised by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, who accused the Karnataka government of going on a “witch-hunt” against the anchor for asking legitimate questions about the implementation of a government scheme.

“This state led witch-hunt is a direct assault on the freedom of press. Whether it’s political opponents or independent media that asks uncomfortable questions, the Congress Govt is going after everyone by abusing the law,” Surya said in a post on X.

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News Network
June 19,2024

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At least 68 Indian nationals have been confirmed dead during this year's Hajj pilgrimage, according to a diplomat in Saudi Arabia. Several Indians are reported missing too. This comes amid record-high temperatures in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, and the deaths of 550 pilgrims this year.

"We have confirmed around 68 dead... Some are because of natural causes and we had many old-aged pilgrims. And some are due to the weather conditions, that's what we assume," the diplomat told news agency AFP about the death of Indians on the condition of anonymity.

The diplomat also said that many Indian nationals are also reported missing, but he declined to give their exact numbers.

"This is a recurring occurrence every year," he stated, informing us that the situation is similar to previous years, with further details expected soon.

The Hajj pilgrimage, a central part of Islam, brings millions annually to Makkah, during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Each Muslim has to fulfil this religious obligation at least once in their lifetime.

This year's pilgrimage also saw intense heat and rising temperatures, which are the highest in recent decades.

A Saudi study even revealed how the temperatures in the pilgrimage area have increased by 0.4 degrees Celsius per decade. In 2023, over 200 pilgrims died during Hajj, and over 2,000 people suffered from heat-related stress as temperatures touched as high as 48 degrees Celsius.

Deaths have been reported of other nationals as well: Iran, Indonesia, Tunisia, Senegal, and Iraq's Kurdistan region. There have been no comments on the deaths by the authorities of these countries.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Notorious gangster Jayesh Poojary, who had been brought to a court in Belagavi connection with the cases pending against him, allegedly raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans in the court premises, resulting in people and advocates, assembled there, roughing him up on Wednesday.

Police personnel present there secured Poojary and brought him to the APMC police station.

Poojary, a native of Dakshin Kannada, has been housed at Central Prison, Hindalga in Belagavi. He had earlier made threatening calls to the office of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and had demanded ransom.

Nagpur police had taken him into their custody for investigations.

He was brought to court here on Wednesday in connection with a pending case when the incident took place.

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News Network
June 7,2024

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Mangaluru: Dakshina Kannada District Congress Committee (DCC) President Harish Kumar said that there is no question of him resigning for the party’s debacle in Dakshina Kannada (DK) Lok Sabha constituency.

 “If the party high command wishes to change the DCC President and appoint a new president, then I will continue to work as a party worker. I am an honest party worker and never engaged in groupism,” he told media persons.

To a query on an online campaign asking the DCC President to tender resignation, he said resignation is not carried in pockets. I am not a student of “WhatsApp University,” but I am a Congress student. I have grown in the Congress from student leader till the DCC President. The party has given me the responsibility by looking at my service to the party,” he said.

“None had tendered resignations to the post of DCC President when the candidates were lost in the past,” he clarified.

Stating that the Congress failed to win the Lok Sabha election in DK constituency inspite of united efforts by the leaders, he said “we had worked hard for the victory of the candidate. There were no differences of opinion among the leaders in the party. All of us are responsible for the defeat. We are all with Padmaraj and will strengthen the party further to face the upcoming elections,” he said.

“Padmaraj R Poojary had owned the responsibility for his defeat. All of us are responsible for the defeat and the candidate is not alone responsible,” he said.

He said “the party had a setback even in the state by bagging only nine seats. We had expected to win atleast 14 seats. However, our vote share has increased by two per cent when compared to the Assembly elections. Even in DK, Congress has won more votes.”

Harish Kumar said that he will also own the responsibility for the defeat of the candidates in South west graduates and teachers constituency. “We had expected a victory in the teachers constituency. However, the party had failed to bridge the gap among the graduates and teachers in the district.”

To a query on District in Charge Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao failing to visit the district as one of the reasons for the party’s debacle, DCC President said that Dinesh Gundu Rao was throughout engaged in the party’s campaign in the district.

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