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Journalists' Body DUJ Condemns Targeting of Veteran Journalist Saba Naqvi

Naqvi was booked by Delhi Police on the charge of spreading hate for a tweet.
Journalists' Body Condemns Targeting of Veteran Journalist Saba Naqvi

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The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) has condemned the inclusion of veteran journalist Saba Naqbi in the last of 31+ people against whom Delhi Police filed FIRs on the charge of spreading hate.

Among those named are suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, expelled Delhi BJP media unit head Naveen Jindal, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Dasna Devi temple priest Yati Narsinghanand, Naqvi, Maulana Mufti Nadeem from Rajasthan, the Peace Party chief spokesperson Shadab Chauhan and Hindu Mahasabha member Pooja Shakun Pandey.

These FIRs were filed after the expulsion of Sharma from BJP over objectionable remarks on a Times Now debate.

In its statement, DUJ noted that Naqvi is a veteran journalist, known for her mature, balanced views expressed in TV debates and her writings.

"Yet she stands accused under Section 153 (promoting enmity between different groups), 295 (deliberate acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class), and 505 (inducing to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity) of the Indian Penal Code, for a retweet of a meme. The tweet itself was retweeted by many people and shared on WhatsApp in countless groups. Naqvi alone has been singled out for prosecution," the statement read.

This is the second such FIR against Naqvi, as another similar FIR was filed against her and a few other journalists in 2021 for a retweet.

DUJ highlighted the modus-operandi behind Naqvi's inclusion in the FIR. The journalists' body said that as a prominent Muslim woman journalist, Naqvi has faced the wrath of online trolls.

"In January this year, she was one among the Muslim women in public life who were 'auctioned' on the Internet. Other journalists were also targeted in the demeaning 'Bulli Bai' online auction which displayed their photographs, with objectionable comments."

DUJ has asked for an immediate withdrawal of the charges and the police inquiries against Naqvi.

"We condemn the increasing tendency to file criminal cases against journalists for their reportage and comments in the media. The list of those who face such charges is long and growing which bodes ill for democracy and free speech." the statement read.

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