Two women protesting at Shaheen Bagh for over a month on Monday sent a defamation notice to Amit Malviya, who is the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s IT Cell, for claiming that protesters at the site had been paid to join the sit-in. The notice sought an apology and Rs 1 crore in damages from Malviya, India Today reported.
Two women : Nafisa Bano and Shahzad Fatma have filed for defamation. #AntiCAA_NRC_NPR
(Re-uploading to protect their address details) pic.twitter.com/bL2wpEJ2z9
" Zeba Warsi (@Zebaism) January 21, 2020
The people at Shaheen Bagh are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before 31 December, 2014.
The notice to Malviya was issued after he claimed that the protesters were being paid from Rs 500 to 1,200 a day by the Congress. On 15 January, the BJP leader posted a "sting video" on Twitter in which an unidentified man makes the claims, portraying the protesters as "bribe-takers", News18 reported.
Shaheen Bagh protest is sponsored... ¤¸¤¾¤°¤¾ ¤¤¾¤¤ - ¥¤°¥¤¸ ¤¤¾ ¤¥¤² ¤¹¥... pic.twitter.com/JOKIO2qK7P
" Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) January 15, 2020
The notice, which has been issued under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, has been sent by Nafisa Bano and Shahzad Fatma through advocate Mehmood Pracha, who is providing legal assistance to those protesting against the CAA in Delhi.
"By making and propagating false allegations against the protesters and casting aspersions on their motivations, you, the addressee, and other entities have not only played a fraud on the general public but have also attempted to bring disrepute to the protesters who are bringing the attention of a large number of people on the issues being pressed by this extraordinary exercise of constitutional freedom," the legal notice was quoted as saying.
It added, "A video posted and endorsed by you on social media site Twitter, which has been played across several media platforms, had alleged that the protesters are taking Rs 500-Rs 700 in order to be a part of the protests. Such statements are not only false but also have an effect of defaming the protestors in the national and international community."
The BJP is yet to respond to the notice.
With inputs from agencies