The Kerala Police has filed an FIR against Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary after a complaint which accused him of offending religious beliefs.
The FIR, filed under the non-bailable section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, says, “On March 11, 2020, the accused aired content on his show DNA on Zee TV, which insulted the Muslim community.”
Chaudhary anchors the show ‘DNA’ every day between 9 pm and 10:30 pm.
On the March 11 episode of his show, Chaudhary talked about “types of jihad” using a flowchart he copied from a Facebook page. While Chaudhary claims he was “exposing inconvenient facts”, his show and the episode in question has been criticised for Islamophobia, bigotry and vilifying the Muslim community.
The investigating officer of the case at Kozhikode’s Kasaba Police station told The NewsMinute that the city police commissioner had gotten legal opinion before forwarding the complaint to the station.
The complaint had been filed by Advocate P Gavas, joint secretary of the All India Youth Federation, the CPI’s youth wing, in Kerala.
“The complainant had filed his complaint along with a copy of the episode aired on DNA on March 11 to the city police commissioner, Kozhikode. After the commissioner took a legal opinion on the issue, he forwarded the complaint to us to lodge an FIR,” he said.
Chaudhary claimed he was paying the price for “daring to speak against Zameen Jihad in Jammu, Love Jihad in Kerala, PFI funding of CAA protests, and for daring to enter Shaheen Bagh.”
“Zameen Jihad” was one of the “types” the anchor mentioned on his show using the flowchart from a Facebook page that posted several anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, according to The NewsLaundry.
Earlier this year, the government told the Parliament there was no definition for ‘love jihad’ under Indian laws and no cases of it had been reported in Kerala.
While the news reports on ED linking PFI funding to anti-CAA protests has been based on sources, there has been no official clarification on the exact allegations against PFI. The group and others have denied any such involvement.
Chaudhary had arrived at Shaheen Bagh on January 27 but the women protesting against CAA at the site refused to speak with him. (Here’s why.)