Journalist Vinod Dua summoned to Himachal Pradesh for questioning over sedition charge

BJP leader Ajay Shyam had complained that Vinod Dua made bizarre allegations against PM Narendra Modi on his 15-minute YouTube show on 30 March.

Shimla: Two days after the Delhi High Court stayed investigation into a case against journalist Vinod Dua for his show on YouTube, the police here have summoned him for questioning over a sedition charge levelled by a local BJP leader.

Like the complaint lodged in the national capital, the FIR registered against the senior journalist is over a YouTube show on communal riots in Delhi earlier this year.

According to the complaint here, he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using “deaths and terror attacks” to get votes.

Dua has been asked to join the investigation at Kumarsain police station in Shimla district on Saturday, Rampur deputy superintendent of police Abhimanyu Verma said.

He has been charged under sections 124A (sedition), 268 (public nuisance), 501 (printing matter known to be defamatory) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) on the basis of a complaint last month by BJP’s Mahasu unit president Ajay Shyam.

On Thursday, Dua was sent a notice asking him to appear before police in Shimla. Himachal Pradesh policemen arrived at his Delhi home on Friday morning to serve the notice.

In his reply to the notice, Dua said he cannot visit Kumarsain police station because of his health, age and the COVID-19 protocol for travel and quarantine, according to a state police spokesperson.

However, he has agreed to join the investigation through email or any other online mechanism, Superintendent of Police Khushal Sharma said.

BJP leader Ajay Shyam had complained that Dua made bizarre allegations on his 15-minute YouTube show on March 30.

According to his two-page complaint, Dua said Prime Minister Narendra Modi used deaths and terror attacks to garner votes .

The BJP leader said this was an act of instigating violence against the government and the prime minister by spreading false and malicious news.

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court had stayed till June 23 an investigation into a similar case filed by a BJP spokesperson, Naveen Kumar.

The court said there was an unexplained delay of nearly three months in filing the complaint.

Dua’s petition to court had claimed that the FIR lodged in Delhi was proof of political vendetta and an attempt to stifle free speech.

Source: The Print

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