Aaj Tak Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary Booked In Karnataka For ‘Conspiring To Disrupt Communal Harmony’

New Delhi: The Karnataka police have registered an FIR against Aaj Tak anchor Sudhir Chaudhary for “conspiring to disrupt communal harmony” in a show hosted by him in which he talked about the state government’s commercial vehicle subsidy scheme. An official of the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation had complained that Chaudhary was promoting enmity between groups. Accordingly, Chaudhary was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In the show, Chaudhary had allegedly claimed that subsidies were being provided only to minorities in Karnataka and not to Hindus, said the FIR. “The show claimed that the scheme meted injustice to poor Hindus in the state” and “conspired to disturb communal harmony,” it added.

While Chaudhary is accused number one in the case, the chief editor and the organiser of Aaj Tak are accused number two and three respectively, The Indian Express reported.

After the show was aired on the channel on September 11, the Karnataka government threatened legal action against the anchor for deliberately spreading misinformation on government schemes. The scheme offered subsidies for members of the minority community to buy commercial vehicles.

Earlier, reacting to an advertisement published in a newspaper about the scheme, BJP MPs alleged that it highlighted ‘minority appeasement’ under Congress rule.

However, the government maintained the scheme has existed for several years under different development corporations meant for the welfare of various communities. Similar schemes existed for other groups too, the government said, adding that the subsidy scheme for minorities existed even under BJP rule.

After the show was aired, Karnataka IT/BT minister Priyank Kharge had posted on X a, saying it was “deliberate & malicious” and that the government would take necessary action. Meanwhile, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya accused the Karnataka government of going on a “witch-hunt” against the anchor for asking legitimate questions about the implementation of a government scheme.

“This state led witch-hunt is a direct assault on the freedom of press. Whether it’s political opponents or independent media that asks uncomfortable questions, the Congress Govt is going after everyone by abusing the law,” Surya posted on X.

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