FIR Registered Against Facebook’s India Chief in Chhattisgarh for ‘Hurting Religious Sentiments’


The Raipur journalist filed the FIR after he was named in a complaint registered by Delhi Police’s cyber cell on the basis of a charge levelled against him by Ankhi Das on Sunday

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – A Chhattisgarh-based journalist has filed an FIR against Facebook’s India chief, Ankhi Das, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and inciting communal violence. Two people who allegedly posted threatening comments against the journalist have also been named in the FIR.

The case was lodged on the complaint of Awesh Tiwari, a Raipur-based journalist and also a member of the Congress government’s Fake News Committee.

“I am the state head of Swaraj Express and we had put up a post regarding the Wall Street Journal’s expose of how Ankhi Das at Facebook pressured her juniors to not implement hate speech clause on political posts to keep her relationship with the ruling party intact,” The Indian Express quoted Tiwari as saying in the FIR.

Following the post, Tiwari said he started getting threats over calls, messages from people who all said they were calling for Ankhi Das.

The FIR has been registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 295(a) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505(1)(c) (with intent to incite), or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit offence against any other class or community), 506 (criminal intimidation), 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention).

The FIR was registered after Tiwari was named in a complaint registered by Delhi Police’s cyber cell on the basis of a charge levelled against him by Das on Sunday.

Das, who has been at the centre of a controversy following a WSJ report on BJP-linked hate posts, had filed a complaint to Delhi Police alleging “violent threats” against her.

In her complaint, Das alleged receiving death threats and social media abuse after a report in The Wall Street Journal suggested that Facebook was biased towards the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in censoring hate speech.

“Since August 14, I have been receiving violent threats to my life and body, and I am extremely disturbed by the relentless harassment meted out to me by the accused persons. The content, which even includes my photograph, is evidently threatening to my life and body and I fear for my safety as well as that of my family members. The content also maligns my reputation based on a news article and I am subjected to name-calling, cyber bullying and eve-teasing online,” said Das in her complaint.

The WSJ had reported that Facebook India’s Public Policy Director Ankhi Das told staff members that “punishing violations” by BJP politicians “would damage the company’s business prospects in the country, Facebook’s biggest global market by number of users”.


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