BJP MPs & Followers Extend Support To Postcard News Founder Arrested For Spreading Hate
March 30th, 2018
Running a news website with the propaganda of inciting communal tension sure has its consequences. The Bengaluru Police yesterday arrested Mahesh Vikram Hegde, the founder of Postcard News, for publishing a fake story about a Jain monk being beaten by a Muslim man.
Hegde has been arrested under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between religious groups), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage sentiments) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
The story that landed him in jail claimed that a Jain Monk was beaten by a Muslim man. A picture of the monk with bruised shoulder was also posted. Hedge shared the same news on his Twitter account too on March 18. An investigation later revealed that the monk got into an accident and injured himself.
“Yes, it is true, he was arrested based on the Jain muni post. The Jain muni was hit by a bike while he was walking on the road. He was not hit by Muslim youth as claimed by Hegde,” said the police official, as reported by The News Minute.
The FIR stated: “The Jain muni was hit by a drunk man riding a motorcycle. The Jain muni was on his was to Shravanabelagola for the Mahamatsabhisheka. He had sustained minor injuries on his right shoulder and arm and also on his face. Locals administered first aid and sent them to Shravanabelagola. Upon learning that the Jain Muni was hurt, postcard news published a story alleging that the Jain Muni was attacked by Muslim youth. This was published on social media. Many people have read this story. This was intended to tarnish the reputation of the government and also disrupt communal harmony.”
#ReleaseMaheshHegde trending on Twitter
Pratik Sinha, the founder of Alt News, a website that busts fake stories, shared a Tweet which says that a circular has been forwarded on BJP Whatsapp group with appeals to trend #ReleaseMaheshHegde.
— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) March 29, 2018
The consequence of this can be seen in many Tweets. BJP MPs have also Tweeted in support of Hegde.
Shame on the state government led by @siddaramaiah which is behaving in dictatorial terms in arresting @mvmeet. Ensure to follow the true democratic spirit in fighting us rather than doing a coward act. #ReleaseMaheshHegde
— Anantkumar Hegde (@AnantkumarH) March 29, 2018
— Pratap Simha (@mepratap) March 29, 2018
The Logical Indian take
It is necessary to understand the repercussions of posting fake news on social media that lead to communal tensions. People get killed in riots and lynching because of fake news. Producing false news to push a propaganda is not ethically wrong but also dangerous.
Hedge’s arrested is being opposed by many by citing ‘free speech’. Spreading hate that causes communal violence does not fall under the purview of freedom of expression.
The Logical Indian urges everyone to verify every news and their sources before believing in anything.