In a recent development, the Rajasthan High Court, Tuesday granted interim protection from arrest to News18 journalist Aman Chopra in the third FIR filed in Rajasthan’s Dungarpur district against him. Prior to this, the Rajasthan high court on May 7 granted News18 TV anchor Aman Chopra interim protection from arrest in two out of the three cases registered against him.
On April 24, three FIRs were registered against him in the Bundi, Alwar and Dungarpur districts of Rajasthan, under various sections pertaining to sedition, outraging religious sentiments and promoting enmity between two groups and under the IT Act. The FIR was filed over his coverage of temples’ demolition in Alwar on his TV debate show.
According to reports, senior advocates Siddharth Luthra and Manoj Bhandari, appearing for Aman Chopra contended in the court that the charges of sedition and inciting communal disharmony slapped against Aman Chopra were meaningless.
The court asked if the television show on the demolition of temples in Alwar, which provoked the FIRs, was still available in the public domain. Aman Chopra’s lawyer replied in the negative. The court then stated that it would prefer to see the entire debate show before making any decisions, and thus gave Aman Chopra interim protection from arrest. The case will be heard again in court on May 11, Wednesday.
On Saturday, the Rajasthan High Court had also passed an order saying that no coercive action should be taken against Aman Chopra in the FIRs filed against the journalist.
Journalist Aman Chopra was targeted for running a debate show on the demolition of a temple in Alwar
Several cases were registered against News18 Hindi editor News18 on April 24 over charges of promoting communal discord and conspiring to incite riots, serious sections of sedition have also been added against Chopra.
During his show on the demolition of temples in Alwar, Aman Chopra brought up the anti-encroachment drive held in Jahangirpuri recently and wondered whether the action in Alwar was a retaliation for the drive-in Jahangirpuri. Following the show, a coordinated hashtag was run on social media urging authorities to arrest Chopra for trying to link the two drives, this prompted the authorities to register cases against him.
Congress party supporters and a few Congress-aligned journalists were amongst those who demanded the arrest of the journalist.
Pertinently, on May 7, despite the Rajasthan HC staying the FIRs and barring police from taking any coercive action against Aman Chopra, at least ten Rajasthan police officials had assembled outside journalist Aman Chopra’s residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida to arrest him for his coverage of temples’ demolition in Alwar on his TV debate show.
OpIndia has accessed information that the Rajasthan police officials had entered the housing society in Noida where News18 journalist Aman Chopra resides.
Shortly thereafter, officials from the UP Police also reached the location. The Rajasthan Police reportedly pasted the arrest warrant outside Chopra’s residence and were escorted out by the UP Police.