Journalist Booked in UP’s Bijnor for FB Post Accusing VHP Leader of Land Grab


Allegations against Champat Roy, also secretary of the Ram Temple Trust, has hurt ‘sentiments of crores of Hindus across the country’, says the FIR

Team Clarion 

NEW DELHI— Just days after Uttar Pradesh Police in Ghaziabad charged journalists, Congress leaders, The Wire and Twitter for sharing video of an elderly man who was assaulted by goons, the state’s police in Bijnor filed another case against a journalist and two others for Facebook posts critical of Champat Rai, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader who is also secretary of the Ram Temple Trust, which is in news for allegations over land scam in Ayodhya.

The FIR registered in Bijnor names journalist Vineet Narain and two others — Alka Lahoti and Rajnish after a complaint was filed by the brother of Rai, Sanjay Bansal, accusing the three of conspiracy to make “false allegations” against the VHP leader and thereby, “hurting the sentiments of crores of Hindus across the country”.

Narain, the journalist, had said on Facebook that Rai was aiding his brothers in land grab in his home town of Bijnor. Narain said that Rai helped his brother in grabbing 2,000 sq ft land owned by Lahoti, an NRI. According to the post, Lahoti has tried to free the land from the clutches of Rai and has even approached Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for redressal of her grievances.

The complaint by Bansal says he called Narain to ask him to clear the “facts of the case” but the phone was picked up by Rajnish, who “misbehaved with me and threatened to kill me”.

In the FIR lodged on Sunday, June 20, the police booked the three accused under 15 sections of the Indian Penal Code, some of them non-bailable, and under IT Act.

Bijnor superintendent of Police (SP) Dharamveer Singh said, “A case has been registered against Vineet Narain, Alka Lahoti and Rajnish. They had put up a derogatory post on Facebook making allegations of corruption against Champat Rai’s family members. We have set up an inquiry into the matter. Prima facie, the allegation seems to be false. The accused tried to tarnish the image of Rai and hurt the religious sentiments of people. However, a probe is on and documents are being checked.”

The case was filed under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion), 293 (circulating obscene objects), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 417 (punishment for cheating), 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 448 (punishment for house-trespass), 465 (punishment for forgery), 457 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night), 469 (whoever commits forgery, intending that the document or electronic record forged shall harm the reputation of any party).

— With inputs from IANS


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