Karnataka Police Register FIR Against Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary
The Karnataka police have initiated legal proceedings against anchor Sudhir Chaudhary on charges of “plotting to disrupt communal harmony.” These allegations stem from a program he hosted on the Aaj Tak news channel, where he discussed the state government’s subsidy scheme for commercial vehicles.
Charges Filed Under Various Sections of the IPC
Chaudhary has been named as the primary suspect and faces multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) related to fostering discord between groups. The Sheshadripuram police in Bengaluru acted upon a complaint filed by an official from the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation. In the broadcast, Chaudhary allegedly asserted that the subsidy program exclusively benefited minorities in Karnataka and neglected the Hindu community. The FIR states that “the show propagated unfair treatment towards underprivileged Hindus in the state” and “plotted to disrupt communal harmony within the state.” Additionally, the chief editor and organizer of Aaj Tak have been named as the second and third suspects, respectively.
Government Threatens Legal Action
Following the airing of the program on September 11, the Karnataka government threatened legal action against Chaudhary for intentionally spreading misinformation about government initiatives. The subsidy schemes aimed to provide financial assistance to minority community members purchasing commercial vehicles.
Controversy Surrounds Newspaper Advertisement
An advertisement featured in a newspaper promoting the scheme triggered controversy, with BJP MPs alleging that it exemplified “minority appeasement” during the Congress rule.
Government’s Defense of the Scheme
The government, however, defended the scheme, asserting that it has been in existence for several years under various development corporations designed to benefit diverse communities. Similar programs have also been available to other groups, with the government highlighting that the subsidy initiative for minorities existed even during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s tenure.