Delhi Police Raids Homes of The Wire’s Editors 2 Days After BJP IT Cell Head Files Complaint
Siddharth Varadarajan (left) and MK Venu (right). | Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons and Facebook respectively.
New Delhi: Swinging into action two days after BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya filed a complaint against stories already retracted by The Wire, the Delhi Police on Monday raided the residences of the new portal’s editors – Siddharth Varadarajan, MK Venu and Jahnavi Sen, according to people close to the development.
The complaint filed by Malviya, following a first information report registered by the Delhi Police accuses The Wire of cheating, forgery, defamation and criminal conspiracy referring to a series of stories on Meta, one of which had named him.
The veracity of the stories was denied by Meta, which alleged that the documents and emails used were “fabricated”. The Wire retracted the stories on October 23, admitting that it had failed in due diligence and filed a complaint against its key technology expert, Devesh Kumar, who allegedly “deceived” them.
Incidentally, besides Varadarajan, Venu and Sen, the FIR named another editor of The Wire, Sidharth Bhatia, but Devesh Kumar, whose name appears in one of the articles, was not named.
“The police came at around 4.40 p.m and left at 6 p.m,” Venu told Scroll.in. “They said they have come here on behalf of Delhi Police Crime Branch for the FIR filed by Amit Malviya. They have taken my iPhone and iPad for cloning.”
He confirmed that a raid was underway at Varadarajan’s home too. At the time of filing this report at 7.30 p.m, the police was still in Sen’s home.
In one of the stories in the Meta series, The Wire had alleged that Malviya was enjoying special privileges through an Instagram programme called X-Check that ensured that any posts he reports are removed from the platform immediately, with “no questions asked”. Meta is the parent firm of Instagram, according to the Scroll report.
The Wire, claiming that it had been “deceived” by a member of its investigative team filed a complaint against Devesh Kumar on October 29, alleging that he “fabricated and supplied documents, emails and other material such as videos with a view to damaging The Wire and its reputation.”
Late at night ANI tweeted: "Delhi Police Crime Branch visited the 'The Wire' office & seized relevant devices: Delhi Police".
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