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Journalist arrested under anti hate-speech laws for misleading report

WT24 Desk

A Dausa-based journalist from Dainik Bhaskar was arrested on Friday evening for hurting religious sentiments after a “misleading” report about a Pakistani flag being raised in the town was published in the Hindi daily.

 The news article claimed that it was a Pakistani flag which triggered resentment among the community members in the district. The flag was actually a religious one, which is hoisted every year to observe the Prophet Mohammad.

The report was published in the newspaper’s November 17 edition under the headline “Halwai Bazar mein ghar ki chhat par lehraya Pak jhanda” (A Pakistani flag is fluttering on the roof of a house in Halwai Bazar)”, the Indian Express reported.

A day after the news appeared, an FIR was lodged at the Dausa police station by one Abdul Khalil and one Mohammad Arif who claimed that the news was an insult to their religious beliefs.

The journalist was arrested under sections 153-A (promoting enmity among different groups on ground of religion etc) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feeling of any class by insulting its religion or religious belief) of the IPC, The Hindustan Times reports.

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