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YouTube News Channel Faces Police Action in Uttar Pradesh Over Lynching Report

Kolkata: A YouTube news channel has been booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police for allegedly misreporting a mob lynching incident in the state’s Shamli district, sparking debates over press freedom in India. The channel reported that a Muslim man was lynched by a mob, which led to the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against it.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the channel “Hindustani Media,” operated by journalist Sadaf Hussain, published a video claiming that Firoz Qureshi, a Muslim man, was beaten to death by a mob in Jalalabad town under suspicions of theft, based on statements from the deceased’s family. The channel, which has over three lakh subscribers, has become the subject of police scrutiny and legal action.

This incident is the second time that journalists and media entities have been legally targeted for covering mob violence in the BJP-governed state. The FIR accuses Hindustani Media of broadcasting incorrect information and making claims that could incite communal unrest. Previously, journalists Zakir Ali Tyagi and Wasim Akram Tyagi, among others, were charged by the UP Police for similar reasons.

The action against the channel and its staff has been strongly criticized by various press organizations and political figures, including Asaduddin Owaisi and RJD MP Manoj Jha, who have voiced concerns about the misuse of criminal laws to suppress journalistic freedom and silence critical voices in the country.