The Delhi Police on Monday searched the houses of The Wire’s founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan and deputy editor M K Venu in connection with a now retracted story related to BJP‘s IT department head Amit Malviya, officials said.
A senior police officer said the office of the news portal has also been searched and all electronic devices relevant for the probe have been seized.
No arrests have been made yet in the case, the officer said.
Police had on Saturday filed an FIR against the news portal and its editors on a complaint by Malviya accusing the media outlet of “cheating and forgery” and “tarnishing” his reputation.
Maenwhile, Siddharth’s brother Tunku Varadarajan tweeted, “The @DelhiPolice Crime Branch just searched the house of my brother @svaradarajan & seized his phone & laptop. Why seize these when his publication has acknowledged/retracted a mistake? This seizure is repugnant in a democracy. Indians should raise their voices in fierce protest.” Malviya had on Friday said he would pursue criminal and civil proceedings against the portal over stories, since retracted, that insinuated that the BJP leader enjoyed the privilege on Meta platforms of having any post taken down which he believed was against the BJP’s interests.
Malviya’s complaint was filed with Delhi Police’s special commissioner (crime) against The Wire, its founding editors Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M K Venu, deputy editor and executive news producer Jahnavi Sen, the Foundation for Independent Journalism and other unknown people. The Wire has also filed a police complaint against its former consultant Devesh Kumar in connection with the story related to Malviya.