Telangana journalist booked for social media post about seven hour power cut; electricity firm claims she lied

The journalist called the FIR complaint against her a "Medal of Honour" and questioned the Congress leaders about their stance on media.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 20, 2024 | 12:38 AM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 12:38 AM

Telangana journalist booked for post on power cut in Hyderabad

A case was registered against a woman journalist in Telangana on Wednesday, 19 June, for allegedly defaming the state government and its power distribution company by claiming in a social media post that there was a power interruption for seven hours in Hyderabad’s LB Nagar area.

Based on a complaint lodged by an Assistant Engineer working in Telangana Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TGSPDCL), a case was registered against Revathi P under IPC Section 505 (statements conducing public mischief) and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act at LB Nagar Police Station, police said.

As per the FIR, M Dileep stated in his complaint that on 18 June, he received a message from his higher officials “about a social media post that power supply was interrupted for seven hours in LB Nagar area”.

After an enquiry from data sheets of the sub-station over the past six months, he alleged that he noticed there was no power interruption for seven hours in the LB Nagar area.

Claiming that the journalist had made a false allegation, Dileep wrote in his complaint that she was intentionally defaming the state government and TGSPDCL.

He sought necessary action against the social media account holder, accusing her of intentionally spreading false propaganda against the state government and their organisation and making it viral on social media by “creating an incident that did not happen”.

Also Read: ‘Dalits in Telangana village threatened for celebrating Ambedkar Jayanti’

Who initially wrote about power cut? 

Explaining what happened, Revathi took to X to post, “Tired of the frequent power cuts, she tweeted about the incident and a lineman drops at her residence and demands her to delete the tweet. She called the electricity department and told them about this. Requested them not to send them such people to threaten her. The official then tells her that she should call them and not tweet about it.”

Though one can understand from her post that she wasn’t the original complainant, it was not clear who was.

She further explained about how worried the unknown woman was and said, “Even when I spoke with her, she said that she is already worried since she lives in a rented accommodation and the #TGSPDCL already knows her address. I hope the department & the minister in-charge understands that this is harassment. The woman raised a complaint only after suffering many times.”

However, things took a turn for the worse when an FIR was filed against the journalist for spreading “false propaganda.”

Revathi took to X to share that and posted that Rachakonda police approached her and called the FIR against her “medal of honour.”

“In a BIZARRE move, an FIR has been lodged against me while the actual culprits from Telangana Power & Co, who harassed a female consumer in broad daylight, walk free!” she wrote and tagged Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and asked about the party’s stance on media.

She asked them, “If you do believe in democracy stand with us when we fight for justice, and protect the freedom of the press!”

(Edited by Neena with PTI inputs)

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