The Congress on Monday said an FIR has been registered against BJP MPs Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Subrat Pathak on its complaint related to a fake video of Rahul Gandhi, allegedly aimed at disturbing communal harmony.
The FIR against the MPs and three others was registered in Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, chief of the party's media and publicity team Pawan Khera said.
The Congress has also lodged complaints against them in Delhi, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, Khera and the party's social media in-charge Supriya Shrinate told reporters.
The complaints follow Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh writing to BJP president J P Nadda to say the party should initiate action against its leaders for spreading fake news against Rahul Gandhi and get the doctored video removed from their Twitter timelines.
Shrinate accused Rathore of sedition. If an attempt is made by a former Union minister to spread fake news with the intention of disturbing communal harmony in the country, it amounts to sedition, she alleged.
"Why are these people spreading this fire of hate all over the country? We ask the prime minister why he has converted MPs and former ministers to 'two-rupee trolls'. The problem is those who peddle fake news get promotions in the BJP. Everyone knows what the current I&B minister said during Delhi riots and he was promoted," Shrinate said.
The prime minister spoke for nearly half an hour at Hyderabad but did not make a single appeal for peace, she said. A TV channel has issued a public apology for airing the fake video of Rahul Gandhi.
"Peddling fake news on social media is one thing but using social media in cahoots with terrorists will not be accepted. At such a sensitive time in the country, how can they dare to spread a fake video involving Rahul Gandhi. Apart from fake news, this is also a conspiracy because even if Twitter posts are deleted, WhatsApp messages would remain in circulation and disturb peace," Shrinate said.
She also warned the BJP against attempting to "link Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders with terrorists". "We have to make social media a safe platform, a platform for public discourse and for policy discussions, giving suggestions to improve the policies," she said.
"You will have to face consequences of maligning our leader," Shrinate said. Khera also alleged that the BJP has been found to have links with terrorists.
He alleged that terrorist Talib Shah, who was caught in Kashmir on Sunday, "has been found to be a member of the BJP minority cell in the state." Riaz Attari, prime accused in the killing of the Udaipur tailor, was also a BJP member, he said.
"We showed you photos of how the BJP Udaipur chief inducted Attari as a member in November 2019. What more evidence does anyone need?" he asked.
A video in which Gandhi describes those attacking his Wayanad office as children and saying he had no ill-will against them was "mischievously" used by a channel to suggest he was forgiving the killers of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal, the Congress had said.
(with inputs from PTI)