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BUJ Condemns Raids on The Wire

by Rinku Khumukcham
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IT News
Imphal, Nov 2:

The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) is perturbed by the raids on the residences of senior editors of the news portal, The Wire, in New Delhi and Mumbai on Monday evening and early Tuesday morning.
The raids followed a First Information Report (FIR) registered in New Delhi on the basis of a complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Information and Technology department in-charge Amit Malviya. The charges pertained to cheating, forgery, defamation and criminal conspiracy.
Contingents of the Delhi Police Crime Branch conducted search and seizure operations at the homes of The Wire’s founding editors, Siddharth Varadarajan, M K Venu and Sidharth Bhatia, deputy editor, Jahnavi Sen and product-cum-business head, Mithun Kidambi, pursuant to a Section 91 notice under the Code of Criminal Procedure. All five fully cooperated with the police. However, the Crime Branch took away devices from the news portal’s New Delhi office without providing any hash value, i.e., the numeric value that uniquely identifies data lodged in an electronic device at any given point in time.
Malviya’s complaint was filed soon after The Wire formally retracted its stories on the XCheck program of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, in which it was alleged that special status was given to BJP leaders to takedown content on these platforms. In a statement dated October 23, The Wire retracted these stories after an internal review revealed discrepancies.
In an editorial statement on October 27, the news portal admitted that “complex technical evidence – whether brought by someone who is part of the newsroom or a freelancer – and all verification processes that involve technical skill, must be cross-checked by independent and reputed experts in the field. Had we done this before publication rather than after the fact, this would have ensured that the deception to which we were subjected by a member of our Meta investigation team* was spotted in time.”

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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