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Case filed against Congressman, writer on BJP complaint

A case was registered on Sunday against Madhya Pradesh Congress IT Department Chief Abhay Tiwari and journalist Piyush Babele in connection with alleged ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans put forward during the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra, an official said.

The issue has sparked a slugfest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, with the latter citing the video of the incident as manipulated to defame the nationwide march.

The video was posted by the BJP’s IT cell, which the Congress claimed was part of the tactics of the ruling party’s “dirty tricks” department.

The video posted by BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya showed Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary of Congress Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Head of State Unit Kamal Nath walking during the yatra and a voice shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ towards the end of the 21 second clip.

The rally was passing through Bhanbarad in the Khargone district of the state at the time.

On the complaint of the MP BJP, a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against Tiwari and Babele under sections 153(b) (accusations, allegations harmful to national integration), 504 (deliberate insults, with intent or knowledge that it is likely that such provocation will cause him to violate public order), 505(1) (spreading rumours), 505(2) (incitement to enmity, hatred, ill will between classes) and 120b (criminal conspiracy), Bhopal Crime Branch DCP Amit Kumar told PTI on Sunday.

A press release from the BJP said their spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi and deputy spokesperson Narendra Shivaji Patel filed the complaint.

When contacted, Chaturvedi told PTI that a complaint was filed as the matter was serious and posed a threat to the country.

“Tiwari and Babele posted and distributed the Pakistani Zindabad clip. Babele is the head of the state party’s media department,” Chaturvedi claimed.

However, the chairman of the MP Congress’ media branch, KK Mishra, said that Babele was a journalist and not a member of his party.

Congressional insiders claimed that Babele was a press aide to Kamal Nath.

Chaturvedi, meanwhile, said he had requested registration of a case against Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Kamal Nath in connection with the incident.

A Crime Branch official said further action will be based on the investigation into the complaint.

The head of the congress’s media department, KK Mishra, said his party will not get bogged down in what he claimed were false complaints.

“We will stand like a rock behind Tiwari and Babele. BJP government can prevail in parliament by registering such false and baseless cases,” Mishra claimed.

Earlier in the day, Mishra said the BJP was afraid of the massive response the Bharat Jodo Yatra received.

BJP’s Chaturvedi had said that the Congress tweeted the video on its official handle at 8:52 am on Nov. 25 and removed it soon after because of pro-Pakistani slogans in it, demonstrating the double standards of the opposition party.

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