RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh journalist Awesh Tiwari, who was among the five persons named by public policy director of Facebook India in her FIR, has lodged a counter-complaint with the Raipur police against her and two other social media users for having received violent threats to his life through online posts and calls.
The case was lodged at Kabir Nagar police station late Monday night based on the complaint of Awesh Tiwari, a Raipur-based journalist of a news channel, Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Yadav said.
Three persons, identified as Ankhi Das from New Delhi, Ram Sahu from Mungeli (Chhattisgarh) and Vivek Sinha from Indore (Madhya Pradesh), were booked.
An investigation is underway and further action will be taken accordingly, the official said.
The three have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 295(a) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505(1)(c) (with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit offence against any other class or community), 506 (criminal intimidation), 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention), he said.
Das is Facebook's Director, Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia.
Tiwari lodged the case after he was named in a complaint by Das to Delhi Police, alleging that she had been receiving threats to her life through online posts.
According to the FIR, Tiwari in his complaint said that on August 16, he put up a post on his Facebook account related to an article published in the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ reported that Facebook refused to apply hate speech rules to certain BJP politicians, while the social media giant has asserted that its policies are enforced globally without regard to political affiliation.
Tiwari in his police complaint said, "Two Facebook users, with names Sahu and Sinha, jumped in to defend Das and commented on his (Tiwari's) post that she (Das) is a Hindu and she is talking in the interest of the faith.
Sahu allegedly posted derogatory and communally sensitive photographs and also threatened him."
Tiwari also said he had been receiving threat messages and calls on WhatsApp after his post.
He alleged that Das, Sahu, and Sinha were trying to defame him by spreading religious hatred due to which his life is under threat and he is living in constant fear.
“While trying to create a communal discord, the three are harming my reputation I carry as the recognised media person and interrupting my freedom of thoughts”, Tiwari said.
Tiwari has submitted to police screenshots of the threat messages received on his mobile phone.
“I have written a post on my Facebook page only narrating the context of the Wall Street Journal article titled 'Facebook Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics’.
"I raised some 8 questions, as a journalist that remains my job, and needed to be addressed regarding the alleged biased wilful action over not curtailing the hate speeches in the Facebook. I didn’t add any remark from my side. Now I’m getting threats through WhatsApp and FB calls”, Tiwari said.
(With agency inputs)