India's top court stays arrest of lawmaker, journalists over social media posts on Republic Day protest

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NEW DELHI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- India's top court on Tuesday stayed the arrest of Congress party lawmaker Shashi Tharoor and six journalists over their social media posts on the Republic Day tractor rally in national capital New Delhi.

The Supreme Court has adjourned the case for hearing after two weeks.

"We will hear it after two weeks we will stay arrest in the meanwhile," the top court said in its order.

Police filed cases against Tharoor and six journalists - Rajdeep Sardesai, Zafar Agha, Mrinal Pande, Vinod K Jose, Paresh Nath, and Anant Nath over their social media posts on the death of a Sikh man during the Jan. 26 tractor rally of protesting farmers.

The top court has issued notices to Delhi police and the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, as cases have been registered in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Bengaluru and different districts of Madhya Pradesh under serious charges of sedition besides provisions of promoting enmity, making assertions prejudicial to national integration, etc.

On Jan. 26, thousands of farmers marched into the heart of the city on tractors and made their way into iconic Red Fort, where they hoisted flags other than the country's national flag.

The farmers have been protesting for the past over two months at borders of Delhi, demanding a complete repeal of federal government's three controversial farm laws.

Ever since the protest broke out against the laws, the Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been defending them as major reforms for the upliftment of farmers.

Eleven rounds of talks between protesting farmers and the federal government have failed to end the ongoing stalemate. Enditem

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