RSS files FIR against Dainik Bhaskar, News24, Hari Bhoomi for fake news

An RSS functionary said that Dainik Bhaskar and some other media outlets published a “fake report” regarding its upcoming office in Ayodhya.

Lucknow | Updated: 22 February, 2023 3:41 pm IST
An RSS functionary alleged that Dainik Bhaskar published the report again in print edition despite his rebuttal.

A case has been filed against officials of news outlets Dainik Bhaskar, News24 and Hari Bhoomi for allegedly publishing “fake” reports, inferring that RSS, in collusion with the UP government, was planning to acquire 100 acres of land for its new office in Ayodhya.

The FIR has been registered at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow based on a complaint filed by RSS’ Awadh Prant Prachar Pramukh (in charge of RSS’ publicity in Awadh region) Ashok Kumar under sections 153A and 505 of the IPC and section 66 of IT (Amendment) Act, 2008.

In his complaint, Kumar alleged that “oblique and mischievous” news reports were published with an agenda to malign the goodwill and reputation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

“Such publication of fake news reports has misled readers into wrongly believing that the organisation of the RSS has lost its path of Param Vaibhav and is now working on the line to acquire immovable property of 100-acre land at Ayodhya, in collusion with the state government,” the FIR copy reads.

In his report, Dainik Bhaskar’s local correspondent allegedly said that the land was being acquired to build another headquarters of the RSS in Ayodhya.

Complainant Kumar said that he circulated a rebuttal of the news reports among journalists in his capacity as an RSS office bearer.

On February 14, Dainik Bhaskar’s resident editor Vijay Upadhyay contact Kumar “to understand the situation and assured the applicant that he shall be conveying about the such incident to the head office of the news agency”.

In spite of such assurance, Dainik Bhaskar’s New Delhi edition published the same report the next day i.e. February 15, he said.

Dainik Bhaskar’s news report subsequently made its way to News24, Hari Bhoomi, TV9, Focus 24 News, Punjab Keshari, Prakash TV, Janadesh Today, Bharat News and other sections of the media, he said.

“The agenda is obvious – to associate Ram Temple at Ayodhya, which is coming up after the judgement of the Supreme Court with this organisation,” RSS office bearer Kumar said in his complaint.

He further alleged, “It appears that as part of a motivated plot, despite being cognizant of the facts, they chose to cloak the reality by publishing propaganda paces aimed at harming the goodwill, the reputation, and the truth of RSS by publishing the oblique and tainted news story.”

Dainik Bhaskar executive director Rakesh Agrawal, local correspondent Ramesh Mishra, Hari Bhoomi’s chief editor and managing director, and chief editor and managing director of News24.

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