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Unnao Girls’ Death: Fir Against Eight Twitter Handles including ‘Mojo Story’ For Alleged ‘Fake Stories’

The Unnao Police has registered an FIR against eight Twitter handles, including Mojo Story for allegedly spreading false news about the death of two Dalit girls in Unnao district. The FIR has been registered under IPC Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, reports Rhea Binoy


AN FIR against eight Twitter handles, including that of the multimedia website Mojo Story, has been lodged by Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao police for allegedly spreading “false” news about the suspected poisoning of three Dalit girls in Unnao, The Hindu reported on Sunday.

Unnao Assistant Superintendent of Police VK Pandey claimed that untrue and misleading information was being circulated on social media about the incident.

According to The Hindu, apart from Mojo Story, the FIR has been filed against the handles @NilimDutta, @BhimSenaChief, @jajagranlive, @SurajKrBaudh, @Abhaykumarazad97, @Rahuldiwkr and @VijayAmbedkarUP.

It was filed under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.

The Mojo Story called the FIR a “blatant case of harassment and intimidation” and defended its coverage of the incident. “Arun Agarwal, a local stringer sent us initial inputs, later we had a Delhi correspondent on the ground, as well,” the organisation tweeted.

The website also tweeted a video of a family member of the girls. “The police denial on attempting an early cremation was reported prominently and we removed a tweet after their statement,” Mojo Story said. “However, on the ground, when we spoke to the girls’ families, they still say the police wanted an early cremation. This is what we were told.”


It added: “We have reported all dimensions of the tragedy, the family’s anxieties and allegations as well as the police response at every step. And if this case is pursued, we will confidently defend our journalistic rights and freedom in court.”


The incident took place in Unnao’s village of Babuhara on Wednesday when the girls went to get food for their cattle. Their family members discovered them in an unconscious state lying in their field after not returning at night, the police said. On arrival at a local hospital, doctors pronounced the two girls dead.

The police took two men into custody on Friday for allegedly providing water laced with insecticide to the girls. Meanwhile, the two girls were cremated under heavy security. On Saturday, the third girl, who was receiving treatment in Kanpur, was taken off the ventilator.

Earlier, the police had booked Congress leader Udit Raj for allegedly spreading fake news that the teenaged girls were raped and that their bodies were cremated against the will of the family. A first information report was registered with the Sadar Kotwali police station against Raj.

In a tweet on Friday, Raj had said that he spoke to Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former MP Savitri Bai Phule, who managed to meet the family of the girls with much difficulty after the police gave her permission. Raj had quoted Phule as saying, “The victims’ family members said the girls had been raped and the bodies were cremated against their wishes.”

(Rhea Binoy is a journalism student at the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune and is an intern with The Leaflet.)