Lucknow: A senior Delhi-based journalist has been charged in Varanasi for her report on the ration delivery system that she had recently filed from the district that is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency.
Supriya Sharma, who works with news website Scroll, has reportedly been charged with defamation, “negligent act likely to spread infection of disease”, sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, and other non-bailable sections based on a complaint filed by a woman, according to an NDTV report.
In her complaint, the woman alleged that her case was misreported by the journalist and presented as one of extreme poverty and hunger when it was not the case. The FIR was filed on June 13.
The woman’s case study was part of a story that she had reported from Domari, a village adopted by PM Modi.
“Scroll.in interviewed Mala in Domari village, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on June 5, 2020. Her statements have accurately been reported in the article titled, ‘In Varanasi village adopted by Prime Minister Modi, people went hungry during the lockdown’,” Ms Sharma’s publication said in a statement.
“Scroll.in stands by the article, which has been reported from the Prime Minister’s constituency. This FIR is an attempt to intimidate and silence independent journalism, reporting on conditions of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 lockdown,” the publication further said.
Since 2017, India has slipped six places in the World Press Freedom Index prepared by global body Reporters Without Borders and currently ranks at 142 in the list of 180 countries.