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DUJ condemns filling of FIRs against journalist Vinod Dua

DUJ condemns filling of FIRs against journalist Vinod Dua

New Delhi, Jun 13 (UNI) The Delhi Union of Journalist (DUJ) has condemned booking of journalist Vinod Dua under sedition charge for his comments on Delhi riots on his online news channel terming it "misuse of the law to silence a critical voice."
One Ajay Shyam Vill, in a complaint, has alleged that the comments made by Dua had no substance and instigated violence.
On his complaint, Kumarsain police station in Himachal Pradesh registered an FIR against Dua under sections 124A (sedition), 268 (public nuisance), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) of Indian Penal Code.
"The DUJ condemns the selective targeting of journalists for their political beliefs and observations and views these as an attack on the entire media community. We call for the quashing of all such FIRs and other attempts to intimidate journalists," the Union said in a statement on Saturday.
Dua approached the Supreme Court for immediate relief against his arrest by the Himachal Police, who visited him on Friday morning with a notice demanding his presence in the state the next day. He has expressed his inability to do so due to restrictions.
Earlier, an FIR was lodged on June 4 at Laxmi Nagar Police Station in east Delhi on the complaint of BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar who claimed that Dua made defamatory statements in his YouTube show on the Delhi riots in February 2020.
Dua’s lawyers had argued in the Delhi court that the FIR had been lodged very late, 75 days after the show and there is no evidence that it provoked any public discord.
The Delhi court granted anticipatory bail to Dua and directed the police to not take any coercive steps against Dua till June 29.
The media body, underlined that muzzling of free voices was degrading media in the country. "India’s ranking on the Press Freedom index fell two places to 142 out of 180 countries in 2020, according to the Reporters Without Borders annual index," the DUJ reminded.

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