The homes of two editors of news site “The Wire” were searched by the Delhi Police this evening after a complaint by the BJP’s Amit Malviya.
The police searched the homes of Siddharth Varadarajan and MK Venu, the founding editors of The Wire, and seized their phones and laptops. They have been accused of cheating and forgery in a case filed on a complaint by Amit Malviya, who heads the BJP’s IT Cell. The complaint alleges that The Wire “forged documents to malign and tarnish” his reputation.
The Wire recently retracted a series of investigative reports that claimed that Meta, the parent company of social media giants WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, had given certain privileges to Mr Malviya, which he could use to take down posts that he thought were critical of the BJP.
Mr Malviya said The Wire also published a fake story alleging that a superhuman app “Tek Fog” was used by the BJP to intercept social media posts.
Meta and various other experts pointed out critical flaws in their reporting.
The Wire retracted the stories “after conducting an internal review of the technical source material used, with the help of external experts”.
In a statement, The Wire said it was conducting a comprehensive editorial review of the internal editorial processes “which resulted in the publication of these stories in order to identify and plug any and all shortcomings”.
The Wire has filed a complaint against one of its former consultants, Devesh Kumar, who allegedly gave the fabricated details.
The Wire, in a statement, said it had been given “fraudulent” information. “Whether the person who brought all the material to The Wire deceived us at anyone’ else’s behest or acted on his own is a matter that will be subjected to judicial process in due course. The malintent to discredit The Wire is obvious,” the statement said.