Gwalior police books veteran journalist for Facebook post on BJP member’s complaint

In the police complaint, the BJP member claimed that the post indirectly referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ‘Gappu’ and other party leaders as ‘Tadipar’, ‘balatkari’ (rapist) etc

Photo courtesy- social media
Photo courtesy- social media
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Kashif Kakvi

Madhya Pradesh police have booked a 66-year-old veteran journalist for writing ‘Gappu’ (chatterbox/liar) and ‘Tadipar’ (banished person) in a social media post on Sunday.

The Gwalior police booked Tansen Tiwari, a well-known journalist, who has worked for various Hindi dailies and electronic media organisations including Dainik Bhaskarand Swadesh as an editor after a Bharatiya Janata Party member (BJP) officially reported the matter to it.

Tiwari has been booked under Sections 294 (whoever, sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 500 (Defamation) of the IPC and under Section 67 (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the IT Act 2000, the police said.

Confirming the same, the town inspector of Gola Ka Mandir police station, Heera Singh Chouhan said, “A case has been registered against Tansen Tiwari on Sunday on a complaint made by a BJP leader under Sections 294, 500 of the IPC and section 67 of the IT Act for a Facebook post. A probe is on but no arrest has been made yet.”

The post in question

On May 22, on his Facebook profile, Tansen Tiwari wrote a post in Hindi, “Gappu, Tadipar, Balatkari, aprakirtik sasanghat walo ko pare kar de to BJP suchmuch dheynisht party hai.”

The post irked Gwalior BJP member and advocate Awdesh Pratap Singh who took the post as defamatory. In reply to his post, he commented: ‘Tansen Tiwari je aaj aap ko jail bhejne ke vyavastha karte hai (Tansen Tiwari, be ready to go jail, making the arrangements). The following day, he reported the matter in Gola Ka Mandir police station on BJP’s letter head and demanded action against Tiwari.

Interestingly, in the police complaint, the BJP member claimed that the post indirectly referredto Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ‘Gappu’ and other party leaders as ‘Tadipar’, ‘balatkari’ (rapist), which, he alleged, was an attempt to defame the party and its leaders.

“He constantly speaks against the BJP leaders. His recent post which indirectly refers to PM Modi as ‘Gappu’ and other party leaders as ‘tadipar’ and ‘balatkari’ was the last nail in the coffin. Hence, I reported the matter to the nearest police station,” said Awdesh Singh Bhadoriya, an advocate practising in the Gwalior Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

When contacted, Tiwari said, "Since I'm critical of the Union government's policies, the party is targeting me. This is an attempt to quell the fearless voice. "

The FIR against Tiwari did not go down well with members of Gwalior Press Club. Demanding withdrawal of the case, members of Gwalior Press Club met with the Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police and handed over a memorandum to him on Tuesday.

Commenting over it, senior journalist Rakesh Pathak said, “By using the his right to freedom of speech and expression under section 19 (1)(A) of the Constitution, Tiwari wrote the post on Facebook. Besides, he didn’t mention the name of any leader or person. The FIR against the veteran journalist is an attempt to quell the voice of dissent.”

“The MP police should immediately withdraw the case,” he demanded.

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