FIR against YouTuber Ajeet Bharti in Bengaluru for ‘false claims’ citing Rahul Gandhi

Ajeet Bharti had alleged in a video that Rahul Gandhi was planning to replace the Ram Temple in Ayodhya with the Babri Masjid.

ByNolan Patrick Pinto

Published Jun 16, 2024 | 11:03 PM Updated Jun 16, 2024 | 11:03 PM

File photo of Ajeet Bharti

YouTuber Ajeet Bharti has been booked by the High Grounds police in Bengaluru.

This action was taken based on a complaint by BK Bopanna, who is the legal cell secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).

The complaint says that Ajeet made false claims that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was planning to replace the Ram Temple in Ayodhya with the Babri Masjid.

He made the statement in a video he posted on 13 June on his official handle on X (formerly Twitter).

According to the FIR, the YouTuber has been booked under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code.

Also Read: Youtuber held for false claim that he spent day at Bengaluru airport

FIR and fallout

The written complaint, based on which the FIR was filed, said of Ajeet’s claim, “This is a blatant lie and a gross misrepresentation of Gandhi’s statements.”

It added: “Rahul Gandhi has never made any such statement in any of his speeches.”

It also said, “By spreading baseless and incendiary allegations, he is sowing seeds of discord and enmity among different religious communities, thereby disturbing the peace and harmony of our society.”

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla took to X to support the YouTuber.

He said: “All of us are not only with you but we will do everything we can legally, politically and in many other ways which I will not talk about here. [sic]”

He added: “It is high time that Congress realises this bull***t won’t be tolerated. There will be very real costs if Congress continues this madness. [sic]”

He also said: “If someone thinks we are throwing @ajeetbharti under the bus because we disagree with some of his views think again. There will be a very real cost to pay for your supporters and activists beginning now. It is a double edged sword. [sic]”

Invoking fact-checker Mohammed Zubair’s name, Poonawalla also said: “Zubair types will light the fire and run away but you will pay the price. Everyone has a tweet or statement worthy of legal action. Remember that. [sic]”

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)

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