FIR Against News Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary For Spreading Misinformation

Chaudhary had in the show alleged that the subsidies were being provided to only religious minorities in Karnataka and not meant for Hindus, said the FIR.
Sudhir Chaudhary
Sudhir Chaudhary

Television news anchor Sudhir Chaudhary who is the Consulting Editor of prominent Hindi news channel faces arrest following an FIR against him for allegedly disseminating misleading information regarding a Karnataka government subsidy program, Bengaluru Police said on Wednesday.

The complaint mentioned that the consulting editor of Aaj Tak, Sudhir Chaudhary during his television program featured an advertisement from the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation (KMDC).

According to the advertisement, individuals belonging to religious minority groups will be able to avail subsidies on purchase of commercial vehicles. Chaudhary alleged that the scheme was discriminatory towards Hindus, without acknowledging that the people from Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and Backward Classes (BC) could access similar benefits through other government agencies dedicated to these communities, said the police.

The assistant administrator of the KMDC, Shivakumar filed the complaint at the Seshadripuram Police Station in the city. An FIR was registered by the police under sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), said the police.

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

Moreover, KMDC also issued a statement clarifying the details of the subsidy scheme and accused the news channel of distorting the facts. The scheme provided a 50 per cent subsidy or up to Rs 3 lakhs to unemployed people for the purchase of autorickshaws, goods vehicles, and taxis, enabling them to become self-employed, according to the KMDC.

In addition, Devaraj Urs Development Corporation, Dr BR Ambedkar Development Corporation, Valmiki Development Corporation, and Adi Jambhava Development Corporation implemented similar welfare schemes.

These schemes were not exclusive to the minority community and were also accessible to the backward classes, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and unemployed youth from the Hindu community, emphasized the statement.

It said, “These schemes were not only for the minority community but also for backward classes, scheduled castes, and scheduled tribes. It was also available for the Hindu community’s unemployed youths. These schemes were not implemented by the incumbent Congress government but by the previous BJP government.”

“But the news channel twisted this news, saying, that it had been meant only for the minorities in general and the Muslims in particular thereby doing injustice to the Hindus. This news was nothing but false and malicious. It aimed at whipping up the communal feelings in the society, “ added the statement.

Meanwhile, Sudhir Chaudhary has responded to the FIR and said that he is ready to contest the allegations in the court. He took to social media to say, “I have received information about an FIR filed against me by the Congress government in Karnataka. The question is, why an FIR? Moreover, it includes non-bailable sections, implying the possibility of arrest. My query was regarding the exclusion of the Hindu community from the self-reliant Sarathi scheme. I am prepared for this battle as well. We will meet in court.”

Karnataka minister of information technology and biotechnology Priyank Kharge accused the news anchor of deliberately spreading misinformation regarding government schemes, following the airing of the news report.

He took to X to write, “T he anchor of @aajtak is deliberately spreading misinformation on government schemes which was first started by BJP MPs & is being amplified by sections of the media. This is deliberate & malicious, Govt will be taking necessary legal action.”

Sudhir Chaudhary
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