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Sunday 19 January 2020

Mahesh Hegde, Postcard editor, arrested for spreading ‘fake news’

According to officials, the fake news could be an attempt to communalise the atmosphere ahead of the assembly elections in May

Bengaluru: The editor of right-wing website Postcard News has been arrested by the Crime Branch of Bengaluru Police for spreading fake news.

Police said that Mahesh Vikram Hegde had put a fake news about a Jain monk being attacked by Muslim youths in Bangalore. He had also tweeted images of the injured monk and said that “no one is safe in Siddaramiah’s Karntaka.” The post was shared thousands of times on social media platforms.

Officials, however, revealed that the monk in question had actually got hurt in an accident in Kanakpura. Hegde has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code that deal with promoting enmity between religious groups and outraging sentiments. He will be produced before a magistrate shortly.

The Postcard News editor has been accused of peddling fake news on previous occasions too. Curiously, he is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

According to officials, the fake news could be an attempt to communalise the atmosphere ahead of the assembly elections in May.

Several BJP leaders have jumped to his defence and started a #ReleaseMaheshHegde campaign on social media sites. Among them was union minister Anant Kumar Hegde, who said that Siddaramiah was behaving in a dictatorial manner.

“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,” he tweeted.

Karnataka BJP’s general secretary CT Ravi also condemned the shameless act of arresting the “nationalist” Hegde.

“I condemn the shameless act of arresting Nationalist @mvmeet by Coward Congress Government in Karnataka. In taking this desperate step against @BJP4India Supporters @siddaramaiah has proved that he has already lost the upcoming Assembly Elections,” he tweeted.

He also said that it may have to do with Hegde raising funds for two Hindu schools run by an RSS leader.

“Wondering if Nationalist @mvmeet is arrested because he ran a successful campaign to raise funds for the children of two Hindu schools run by @RSSorg Leader Sri @KalladkaBhat that were denied funds by Anti-Hindu CONgress Government,” he wrote.

BJP MP Pratip Simha also tweeted about the arrest. “Today morning Coward Congress Govt (Karnataka) arrested @mvmeet Mahesh Vikram Hegde under unconnected IT act 66, that too by using CCB! Shame on you,” he wrote and tagged Congress.

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