Republic TV’s fake news case against Muslim youths to be closed

HYDERABAD: In a stunning development, Hyderabad Police has decided to closed the sedition case against three Muslims after Republic TV refuses to provide the original tapes of the sting operation conducted, The Indian Express reported on Monday.

Eight months back on May 16, Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV aired clips of sting operation that purportedly showed Abdullah Basith, Salman Mohiuddin and Abdul Hanan Qureshi professing their allegiance to ISIS.

As a result of the Republic TV’s ‘fake news’, special investigation team (SIT) of the Hyderabad Police summoned the three youths and sedition case against them were booked under IPC Sections 121(A) (waging war against the state), 124(A) (sedition) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The trio, when questioned alleged that the channel had deliberately taken their comments out of context and only broadcast portions in which they were seen talking about the IS group.

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The police said that they “did not find much evidence” against them based on the footage and “So we sought the unedited tapes from Republic TV to understand the context and gave them enough time,” DCP (Detective Department, Central Crime Station) Avinash Mohanty told The Indian Express. “But they did not respond, so we referred the case to the court [to file a closure report].”

The senior official said that “in spite of asking the TV channel several times to provide the unedited tapes”, they “only provided an edited version”.

Meanwhile, Republic TV “categorically denied” the police’s claim and said it had “physically handed over the entire unedited footage of the sting operation to the Hyderabad Police”

“Our reporter also offered, in writing, that her statement be recorded by the Hyderabad Police,” the news channel said in an email to The Indian Express.